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Mandatory alcohol server training deadline for all of California approaches

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Posted at 5:17 AM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 13:09:04-04

Restaurants and businesses that serve alcohol, listen up. A deadline is fast approaching for servers to complete new, mandatory training per the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

“Anybody that is going to bring an alcoholic beverage to your table or check your ID or deliver an alcoholic beverage, they will have to be trained,” said John Carr, public information officer for the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

In San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, there are more than 1,600 businesses that need to comply with the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program Act by the end of August.

The ABC says, “Alcohol servers and their managers must have a valid Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) certification from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Servers and their managers must pass an online ABC administered RBS exam by August 31st to be certified. If they are newly hired, they must pass the exam and be certified 60 days from the first date of employment.”

This training is new for alcohol servers, so what’s the reasoning behind it?

“After one of those horrible, tragic, fatal DUI crashes. It involved a couple of UC San Diego medical students who were killed in the crash,” said Carr. “It was their car that was hit by someone who was DUI.”

The goal? Create a safer community by having fewer people on the roads driving under the influence. The training teaches servers about alcohol’s impact on the body and understanding when a customer has had too much.

“They're going to be taught about some intervention techniques like how to handle difficult situations and good management policies,” said Carr. “What makes a good management policy to help keep a place safe where alcohol is sold legally, responsibly, and safely?”

Saints Barrel, a locally owned wine bar on Higuera St. in San Luis Obispo, has under 10 employees on staff that need to comply with the training.

“It's going to help raise awareness,” said Tyler Saldo, co-owner of Saints Barrel. “We can only do so much. We can stop serving people. We can offer them water. We can offer them food. If we think the police need to be called, we can do that. If we think they need an Uber or a taxi or Lyft, we can do that, too. And I think you might not have done that before the training.”

“I think each business just out of their own handbook puts you through their version of training,” said Sarah Saldo, the general manager for Saints Barrel. “But a lot of times, it's just not as in-depth. It’s just kind of their business culture and how they want you to act. I'd say it was much more focused and more beneficial than other trainings I've done.”

“We understand that the alcoholic beverage industry needs time to adapt, but we're going to work with them and get the information to them to help them achieve compliance,” said Carr.

Saints Barrel says they are reimbursing their employees once they complete the training. The course takes between 2-4 hours. Click here to find the training.