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Common Liquor Law Violations in 2010

Restaurants play an important role in keeping their customers safe by selling alcohol responsibly and ensuring liquor laws are followed. It is just as crucial to check IDs carefully, watch for signs of intoxication and create an environment that discourages disorderly behavior as it is to provide excellent food and an inviting ambiance.

Top 3 Violations in 2010 1. Sales to minors 2. Sales to apparently intoxicated persons 3. Employees drinking on duty

Top 3 Complaints in 2010 1. Sales to apparently intoxicated persons 2. Sales to minors 3. Disorderly conduct

"Restaurants can avoid common liquor law violations through training, clear business policies and diligence," said Chief Pat Parmer of the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) Enforcement and Education Division. "For managers and owners, it is especially important to regularly review your expectations with your staff to avoid complacency or confusion."

The WSLCB may find violations during compliance checks, premises checks, undercover operations, and complaint investigations. Complaints can come from the public, law enforcement and employees, and officers follow up with interviews and visits.

"Public safety violations - such as sales to minors and apparently intoxicated persons, and disorderly conduct - are considered the most serious," said Chief Parmer. "From the first drink order to the final check, employees should be aware of the situation and ready to take action to prevent harm to their customers."

Administrative violation notices can result in fines or liquor license suspensions for the restaurant. Employees involved in the violation could face criminal citations, fines and even jail time. Mandatory Alcohol Server Training permits - which allow employees to serve alcohol - could be suspended or revoked. The WSLCB also gives verbal and written warnings, which do not result in fines or suspensions.

AACEA and Len Riggs provides server training and alcohol training in Washington. To get your alcohol server permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com to take the alcohol permit class from the comfort of your home!

Washington State Alcohol Service and Acceptable Identification

What are the forms of acceptable identification when working in the State of Washington as a server?

According to the Revised Code of Washington (66.16.040), the following are the forms of identification that are acceptable to verify a person's age for the purpose of selling, serving, or allowing a person to possess or consume alcohol:

• Driver's license, instruction permit, or identification card of any state or province of Canada, or "identicard" issued by the Washington state department of licensing per RCW 46.20.117 • United States armed forces identification card issued to active duty, reserve, and retired personnel and the personnel's dependents, which may include an embedded, digital signature in lieu of a visible signature • Passport • Merchant Marine identification card issued by the United States Coast Guard; and • Enrollment card issued by the governing authority of a federally recognized Indian tribe located in Washington, if the enrollment card incorporates security features comparable to those implemented by the department of licensing for Washington driver's licenses.

If the identification document has an expiration date, a person may not use the document after the expiration date to verify his or her age. Some examples of valid identification are listed below.

Washington State Alcohol Service Valid ID

Tribal ID for valid alcohol service

AACEA Launches the First Washington State Approved Online Courseware for Alcohol Server Training.

Americas Alcohol Certified Education Association (AACEA) is the first online alcohol server training provider to be approved by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. The founder of AACEA, Len Riggs is the founder of Len Riggs Alcohol Server Training (LRAST) and has operated in Washington State since 2001. This online alcohol training and certification program has also been approved by the OLCC’s Alcohol Server Education Program.

“When I first became certified by the WSLCB I can remember reading the approval letter and thinking “Now what?” I started out with a shoe string budget, rolled up my sleeves and went to work. I had one goal in mind and that was to become the number one provider in Washington. When I mentioned that goal I was met with a lot of skepticism.” said Len Riggs, founder of AACEA.

“As I began my quest I found myself digging deeper into the culture of alcohol service and could see where I could make a difference by teaching those in my class with more than just enough information to pass the test and get their permit.” Riggs continued.

Riggs submerged himself into the LCB Rule book and asked a lot of questions. He believed that if he was going to teach it, he should know what he was talking about. Then came the stories of the impact of DUI and the lives that drunk driving has shattered and continues to shatter.

“When I teach a class or when I train a trainer for AACEA / LRAST, I do my best to get the fact across that they (the student) can make a difference and save lives. Many times I have been contacted by past students who either went through a class that I taught, or through one of our trainers to thank us for teaching us what we taught.” said Riggs.

The AACEA Program was written with the same dedication. Wisdom from many years of working in the Hospitality Industry, humor and a basic understanding of the LCB Rules, make the AACEA Program what it is.

A few years ago LRAST became the number one Provider in Washington State and issued twice as many alcohol server permits as the next closest Provider. It is with the same dedication that LRAST was built on, “Customer Service and Comprehensive Education” that AACEA will move forward with.

To register online for an alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Washington Liquor Board Considers Extending Hours of Alcohol Sales

As part of our initiative to drive responsible alcohol sales, and provide certified alcohol servers with information in the industry, we've been following a new proposal that will extend alcohol service past 2:00 a.m.

Washington state law says that alcohol cannot be sold past 2:00 a.m., but soon local governments may be able to change that time, according to a new proposal from Seattle's Mayor and City Council. The proposal would allow local governments to decide what time bars should stop selling alcohol. The hours would allow establishments to sell alcohol between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. at their discretion.

The proposal's advocates say the change would help the city’s nightlife industry, and argue there are public safety merits to not closing bars at the same time - which puts a high volume of drunk drivers on the roads all at once.

However, some owners say they don't want later hours because nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m. Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson warned, "There could be higher levels of intoxication associated with longer hours of operation, more drunk drivers on the road during peak early morning commute times, and greater demand for law enforcement services over that extended period of time."

Many opponents say that changing this law will cause a burden on law enforcement due to limited department staffing during those hours.

What does this mean for staff with a class 12 permit? It would potentially mean longer shifts, and more sales. It could mean more tips - but not necessarily better tips. It will require MAST permit holders to be more vigilant about not overserving customers and about making sure their clients have access to transportation if they've been drinking.

To get your liquor permit, take our online alcohol server training from the comfort of your own home. Visit www.aacea.com for more information.

Cocktail Competition Gives Bartenders a Shot

Tales of the Cocktail is in it's tenth year this year. The New Orleans cocktail festival offers a challenge for any certified bartender who knows their stuff. This coming July (25-29) bartenders will have a chance to face off, to create the best drink among their competitors. It's five days of cocktails, cuisine and culture. Annually held in New Orleans, this international event has something for cocktail professionals and enthusiasts alike with seminars, dinners, competitions and tasting rooms where brands showcase their latest products.

Around the country, contestants are lining up their shots and creating delicious craft cocktails to please judges and tasters alike. Famous drinks such as the Absinthe Frappe, the Ramos Gin Fizz, the Obituary Cocktail, the Hurricane, the Hand Grenade and many others started with the imagination and creativity of New Orleans bartenders. To commemorate this grand tradition, “Tales of the Cocktail” was conceived in 2003 and has rapidly grown into one of the city’s favorite celebrations.

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At America’s Alcohol Certified Education Association, we are committed to responsible alcohol sales and service. We provide online class 12 permits and online class 13 permits. If you need to get your mandatory alcohol server training certificate, choose online alcohol classes that you can take from the comfort of your own home with AACEA.

Alcohol in Movies linked to Underage Drinking

At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we are committed to responsible alcohol sales and service. Part of this is an attempt to make an impact on underage drinking. We found a particularly concerning report the other day stating that alcohol in movies has been linked to underage drinking. This large US study says that "Stars who knock back whiskey, wine, or beer in a movie are an invisible but potent force in prompting youngersters to experiment with alcohol or binge-drinking..."

The study says this is a bigger risk for teen drinking that just having booze in the household. Reports on the survey said:

The youngsters were surveyed on what big movies they had seen, whether they drank alcohol or owned merchandise with a liquor brand on it, and were also asked questions about their personality, school and home life.

...The researchers then measured the amount of exposure to alcohol in movies, determined by a character's actual or implied consumption of a drink or purchase of it.

High exposure to alcohol consumption in films was ranked as the third biggest factor in the onset of drinking and the fourth biggest factor in the progression to binge drinking.

61% of Hollywood movies use some kind of product placement. Though producers are not allowed to use tobacco placements, they face no restrictions on product placement when it comes to alcohol. Alcohol consumption and branding in movies is mainly presented in positive sitiuations, with no negative affects, "which consolidates both the adolescent's identify as a drink and brand allegiance" the study warns.

The best line of defense in underage drinking, for now, falls to alcohol servers. Many states require alcohol servers permits, which include training on how to spot fake ID's and curb underage drinking. To get your Washington State alcohol servers permit, take one of our online alcohol classes to become certified. Find out more at www.aacea.com.

The Effects of I-1183: Big Liquor Retailers Move to Washington

Large liquor retailers are looking to move into Washington state, now that I-1183 has taken the state out of the liquor business. These businesses - like Total Wine & More, and Liquor depot - are trying to get a foothold early, so they'll be posed to start selling June 1, when I-1183 takes effect. Retailers are worried about the effect of these large liquor giants; stating they fear for their sales. The increase in stores that sell alcohol could mean an increase in the need for certified alcohol servers.

In addition, retailers are worried about prices. Washington state liquor buyers may see the price of liquor climb, due to new fees mandated by the new law. There will be a 10% distributor fee imposed on alcohol sellers. The biggest worry, though is the 17% fee for retailers. Washington already has higher taxes on liquor sales to consumers than it does to restaurants who serve. The fees are meant to help conpensate the state for losing the profits they would otherwise see at state-owned liquor stores. These larger liquor chains may be able to offset the price increase where smaller sellers cannot.

The prospect of higher prices has distillers and distributors worried about making a profit while not driving away customers under the new system. Extra taxes could cause clients to trade down to less expensive liquors. The drop in demand would be disastrous for the state's fledgling distilleries. However, specialty wine and beer shops are hoping for the best, since they are able to offer more boutique wines, and help customers choose the right selection.

Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) is required by law for managers, bartenders and other employees who serve or sell alcohol. If you need your servers permit, check out our online alcohol server training, and get your alcohol servers permit from the comfort of your own home. Find out more at www.aacea.com.

Iowa Youths help Combat Underage Drinking

Iowa Youths are helping to combat underage drinking in their state - pushing for stiffer laws. These measures include changing Iowa's Minor-In-Posession law to include consumption, and adding a "social host" law, barring any adult from allowing minors to drink alcohol on their property. In that case, parents and other adults who allow minors to drink on their property or under their supervision would be guilty of a misdemeanor and could face fines.

Students say the changes would extend penalties to adults, which would encourage them to be more vigilant against underage drinking in their homes.

The DesMoines register reports:

The state’s current law on possession of alcohol by minors covers only physical possession of an alcoholic beverage, meaning that a person could simply drop a container holding alcohol to avoid a charge, advocates said. By expanding the law to include consumption, a young person could be charged with a violation if he failed a breath or blood-alcohol test.
Measures like these would help those in the alcohol industry - certified bartenders and certified alcohol servers - to ensure that everyone in their community is responsible for the task of cutting down on underage drinking.

America’s Alcohol Certified Education Association is dedicated to promoting responsible alcohol sales and service through our course pack. If you’re looking for your Washington State alcohol server‘s permit, check out our online alcohol certification that allows you to get your permit from the comfort of your own home. Find out more today at www.aacea.com.

Starbucks Adds Alcohol to its Menu

After experimenting with adding Alcohol to the menu in 6 of it's West Coast stores, coffee giant, Starbucks is looking to add wine and beer to the menus of 25 different stores nationwide. Starbucks has 10700 cafés at this time - they are not considering adding wine and beer to the entire chain. At the six stores that now sell alcohol in Seattle and Portland, beer is $5 and glasses of wine are $7 - $9.

What does this mean for the Starbucks staff?

Because Washington and Oregon both require mandatory alcohol server training for anyone who works in a licensed establishment - meaning an establishment that is licensed to sell and/or serve alcohol on the premises. This requirement means that Starbucks employees who work in locations that sell beer and wine will need to complete mandatory alcohol server training to carry a valid alcohol server permit.

It also means the coffee company is looking to add more small plates to the food menu, to help entice people to come, stay, and relax. Servers in locations that serve alcohol may expect more customers with food requests, more late-night customers, and a somewhat different client base. As always, servers will need to be aware of their client base - especially on the lookout for underage drinking and anybody who seems intoxicated.

To get your online alcohol server training from the comfort of your own home, visit www.aacea.com.

Rewarding Designated Drivers

Designated drivers are being rewarded for their sobriety by bars in Massachusetts. In an initiative to cut down on drunk driving, patrons who announce that they are the designated driver in their party receive free sodas from participating establishments. One of these establishments, Tinker's Son Pub in Norwell MA, began rewarding its designated drivers a year ago, after hearing about the initiative's success in other pubs in the area.

Participating restaurants post a sticker near the door announcing their participation in the program. Many certified bartenders and certified alcohol servers ask large groups if they’ve designated a sober driver for the night. Police in the Norwell area encouraged this measure after a fatal holiday crash in 2002.

At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we applaud this measure to cut down on drunk driving, which takes the lives of thousands of people every year. In fact, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in 2007 that nearly 18,000 highway deaths were "alcohol-related." It's up to alcohol servers to help cut down on the number of fatal alcohol-related accidents by providing responsible alcohol service and sales.

If you're looking for mandatory alcohol server training, AACEA provides online alcohol server training, which you can take from the comfort of your own home in only 3 hours. Start the New Year off right, with a program tailored to your needs. Find out more about our MAST classes at www.aacea.com.

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