Alcoholic Beverage Service Industry

The alcoholic beverage service has always been a highly regulated industry. However, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, also known as the ABC has a new training program to train servers and sellers of alcoholic beverages throughout the state. They have updated the training standards and different information to offer this training program to everyone in the state as a way to reduce the deaths and injuries related to alcohol in California. The program is funded by a two year grant, and offers more consistency and effectiveness than previous programs of its type.

The training program was designed based on research and the training programs used by the RBS (Responsible Beverage Service), and focuses on reducing the accessibility to minors and preventing service of alcohol to overly intoxicated patrons or customers. These new standards will be used by private vendors as well as the Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs program, also known as LEAD. The LEAD program is a free service that offers education on alcohol sales and service laws to businesses. There were more than 19,000 employees from the alcohol industry trained with this program in 2008, according to the ABC Department.

There are three elements of the RBS, which is community-based and focuses on reducing the risks associated with the sale and use of alcohol in retail environments. The three elements include: alcohol policies for the licensed establishments, server education and oversight, and partnerships with community groups and agencies such as law enforcement. The goals of education for the RBS are to improve public safety and health, to set a higher standard for the hospitality industry and service sector, to support life quality in the community, and to improve the viability of business for establishments that are responsible.

Every person or business that completes this program that is certified by the RBS receives a training certificate, which is valid for two years. Continuing education and re-certification is required for every business and employee within the industry in order to maintain their eligibility in the alcoholic beverage industry. There are three levels of training within this program. Level one is for special events servers, level two is for professional servers such as cashiers and bartenders, and level three is for supervisors and managers of these other types of employees. The amount of training needed varies with each level, but the minimum standard is set by the state. Having these programs in place is a way for the state of California to ensure that all alcoholic beverage industry employees are safe and responsible on the job, to reduce risks and problems within the industry as a whole.