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Too Drunk? Forget About the Bartender Cutting You Off

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Ever wake up hungover and think, “Who thought it was okay to give drunk-me more booze?” You can stop blaming your BFFs or all the Beyoncé they played: If you’re a woman, the bartender—yep, the person who’s supposed to cut you off—could be to blame for your pain. (And read up on these Hidden Dangers of Mixed Drinks.) According to a study conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Alcohol and Drug Research in Norway, bartenders are more likely to keep serving alcohol to drunk women than drunk men.

A group of 20-something male and female actors sought to test out a Norwegian law that supposedly prohibits bartenders from serving drunk patrons. How’d they do it? By hitting up 153 of Norway’s busiest bars on Friday and Saturday nights, acting drunk, and seeing who could score a refill (what a job, right?). Several blurry weekends later, the study found that slurry, drunken messes of both genders still get served 82 percent of the time. And if you’re a female, that number rises to 95 percent, compared to men at 67 percent. Of the 425 total drinks ordered by the “drunks,” only 78 orders were turned down. (Avoid the Worst Drinks for Your Body too.)

From the report: “Over-serving was more likely at late hours, in venues where most patrons were clearly intoxicated, in venues where the music level was high, and when the pseudo-intoxicated patron was female.” Meaning: If you’re a woman in a dark, loud, crowded bar late at night (seriously?), Hot Bartender may still ply you with drinks, regardless of how seriously intoxicated you might be.

Bartenders overserving their patrons isn’t breaking news, but these new gender-specific findings are baffling, considering several U.S. states would blame the bar if drunk-you got hurt in their venue. But it isn’t that all bartenders are sketchy—generally, they’re just trying to keep patrons happy and avoid fights. On your next night out, consider yourself the only one looking out for you—know when you’ve had enough and cut yourself off.

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