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Safety, Insurance, Auto and Alcohol Groups Push for Drunk Driving Research

A coalition of safety, auto, insurance and alcohol industry groups have asked Congress to pass legislation providing funding for an advanced drunk driving detection research program. The program is expected to lead to more than 8,000 fewer highway fatalities each year, saving our country approximately $130 billion annually.

The letter says this legislation "would authorize the transfer of currently unused safety funds at a rate of $12 million annually for five years to support and expand the ongoing DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety) research program currently being undertaken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and leading automakers."

"The goal of this research program is to develop a publicly-supported technology for vehicles that will instantaneously and passively detect if a driver is drunk (above the legal limit of .08 BAC) and prevent the vehicle from starting. The technology must also be extremely accurate, inexpensive and a non-invasive optional safety feature."

To read more about the proposed legislation, click here.

At AACEA, we teach that our students are the first line of defense against drunk driving. We provide alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington or to get your alcohol servers permit in Oregon, visit www.aacea.com. Sign up today and you’re eligible to win our monthly $100 raffle, from AACEA and Len Riggs.

Inspections in Indiana Find Fewer Sales to Minors

Indiana recently passed a law requiring all carry-out alcohol customers to show ID when purchasing alcohol, regardless of age. The law was largely ridiculed; however, after the law was enacted, officers completed inspections on underage sales of alcohol, saying that sales to minors was down over 40% since 2009. During the inspections, people ages 18 to 20 accompany officers and try to buy alcohol. Indiana business owners are "getting the message about not serving to minors after being hit with citations and fines," said a Courier Press article.

Indiana Excise Police Officer Travis Thickstun said that along with laws mandating certified server training, the tougher ID requirements helped improve compliance. The mandatory server classes, which last about two hours, cover not over-serving to intoxicated customers, how to spot fake IDs, and basic alcohol laws in the state.

"Liquor store owners supported the stricter ID law," says the Courier Press article. "...It wasn't that inconvenient and it led to a drastic drop in attempts by minors to buy alcohol because they knew clerks had to card all customers."

Laws like these help reduce the risks of alcohol, from service-to-minors to drunk driving. Like Indiana, Washington state also requires mandatory alcohol server training. This spring, Indiana revised their card law so that store clerks are no longer required to card customers who reasonably appear older than 40, similar to laws in Washington state.

If you're looking to take bartending certification classes, or to complete your mandatory alcohol server training, AACEA has an easy online alcohol server training program to fit your needs. Sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

In the News: Boating Under the Influence

There's a new DUI crackdown initiative, as many States are starting to crack down on boating under the influence. From USA Today's Larry Copeland:

As the summer boating season enters full swing, states are moving to curtail a peril on the water - boating while intoxicated. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents involving the USA's 12.4 million registered boats, the U.S. Coast Guard says. There were 126 fatalities and 293 injuries in 330 alcohol-related boating accidents in the USA in 2010.

"It's starting to get recognized that boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated," says Lt. Cody Jones, a game warden for the marine enforcement section of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "You're in a 1-ton vehicle, but this vehicle doesn't have brakes, and there's no lane of traffic or stop sign to direct you."

He and other experts say that many recreational boaters don't realize that stress factors associated with boating - such as heat, direct sunlight, vibration, wind and noise - magnify the effects of alcohol. "Alcohol has more of an impact out there," says Maj. Chris Huebner, North Carolina's state boating safety coordinator. "It can take as little as one-third the alcohol on the water as on land to be impaired."

Danger on water The Lexington, Ky.-based National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is pushing for a national marine field sobriety test standard that would enable patrol officers to test boaters while they're seated.

Other action: ..Starting July 1, the legal blood alcohol level of someone operating a boat in Iowa will be lowered from .10% to .08%. ..Oklahoma also lowered its legal blood alcohol level for boaters from .10% to .08%. ..North Carolina launched "On the Road or On the Water," the first statewide joint effort by police agencies to combat both driving and boating under the influence. ..Texas uses "no refusal" weekends, during which on-site judges work with police to issue search warrants to draw blood from suspects under investigation for boating or driving drunk who refuse a breath test. ..New York's state Senate passed a bill to change a law that allows someone convicted of boating under the influence to be considered a first-time offender even if they had a prior conviction for driving a motor vehicle under the influence.

Many people are not aware that in Washington State "Boating Under the Influence" is actually a criminal misdemeanor offense. The charge of Boating Under the Influence is actually called "Operation of a Vessel Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor" and is governed by Revised Code of Washington RCW 79A.60.040.

Our students at AACEA are the first line of defense against drunk driving (and drunk boating). AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washingtonvisit www.aacea.com.

If you’re working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

Woodinville Driver Breaks State Blood Alcohol Content Record

A former Seattle police officer, Deana F. Jarrett, of Woodinville, was charged last month with driving under the influence with the highest blood-alcohol reading ever recorded by a Washington state driver.

Jarrett's blood alcohol level was 0.47 percent, which is almost 6 times higher than the legal .08 percent blood alcohol level limit. A blood-alcohol level above 0.40 percent is potentially lethal - "Most people black out at between 0.35 and higher," said Detective Tim Gately of

the Redmond Police Department. Jarrett is approximately 5 feet 5 inches and 130 to 140 pounds — it would take about a fifth of liquor, 25.6 ounces, in a short period of time, to reach that blood-alcohol level. Five empty four-ounce plastic bottles of vodka and two empty 12-ounce cans of beer were found on the front passenger seat, according to a trooper's report.

Washington State Patrol maintains records on all individuals who submit to a breath test in Washington. According to state records, thirty-five of the approximately 356,000 breath tests given since 1998 have registered above 0.40 percent. An average of 42,000 to 45,000 breathalyzer tests are given each year by all law-enforcement agencies in the state. Until now, no one had registered over 0.45 percent on a breath test in Washington.

In our Alcohol Server Training we teach our students how to look for signs of intoxication – one of the basics of responsible alcohol service and sales. AACEA promotes responsible alcohol service and sales and offers online alcohol server training in Washington. For more information about your alcohol permit visit www.aaccea.com.

If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

Alcohol Content in Wine

We found a great piece in the Seattle Times Wine Adviserwine alcohol levelabout alcohol levels in wines. Alcohol levels must be printed on wine labels according to Federal regulations. The Washington Wine Report notes that wines fourteen percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and under are allowed a 1.5% margin of error – provided the alcohol content does not exceed 14%. Wines over 14% are allowed a margin of error of 1%. In other words, a wine listed at 15% alcohol may be as high as 16% without running afoul of the feds. For this reason alone, there is a good chance that the percentage listed on the label is not entirely accurate. In this case, the printed numbers err significantly and still fall within the letter of the law. Wine Adviser, Paul Gregutt writes,

"So, what's too high? And what's wrong with high-alcohol wines anyway?

"When a wine finishes with a burning sensation — that's too high. When the alcohol level is such that it must be masked by winemaking tricks such as massive amounts of new oak, or unwanted residual sugar — that's too high. When a wine loses all traces of varietal character or the more subtle elements that contribute to its aroma, complexity, texture and balance — that's too high.

"Worst of all, when a wine reaches such ridiculous levels of alcohol that one glass makes you punch drunk — dry zinfandels pinning the meter at over 17 percent — that's waaay too high.

"...When unfortified wines climb above 15.5 percent, they almost always lose subtlety and finesse. Nuances are gone, replaced by the dynamic trio of alcohol, fruit jam and lumber. Apart from the bludgeoning such wines give the palate, they are almost impossible to match with food."

In general, we've found the following to be a helpful guide:

Table wine: 8 – 14% Sparkling wine: 8 – 12% Fortified wine: 17 – 22%

Part of Responsible Alcohol Service is knowing how much punch a drink packs. It's important to pay attention to alcohol levels in various wines and liquors to avoid over-serving. AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

The Debate on Alcohol Bans

Since a ban on cheap fortified beers and wines took effect last year in downtown Spokane, incidents related to public intoxication in the area have dropped. Medical calls for alcohol-related incidents have dropped 47 percent in the area and police responses to alcohol-related incidents have decreased 16 percent.

As part of the ban on high-octane beers, the city and state Liquor Control Board agreed last April to establish a mandatory alcohol impact area where liquor licensees would be prohibited from selling 32 low-cost beers and wines for off-premise consumption. It's part of a citywide effort to combat chronic public intoxication.

However, the city faces opposition from store owners on these impact bans. Many businesses are concerned that bans in impact areas, rather than citywide bans, will harm businesses who are no longer allowed to sell these fortified drinks. Many say these impact area bans are just pushing the public intoxication problem aside. Business owners say that customers will simply walk a few blocks to buy the products from other businesses, leaving licensees affected by the ban at a disadvantage.

Loan Ho, manager at Hai's Mini Market on Sprague Avenue and Lee Street, about two miles east of the downtown core has tried to compromise on the ban, saying, "We try to not sell to people who are drunk... I can tell right away if they've been drinking." Ho says she won't voluntarily pull the products from the shelves, but she takes the city's efforts to reduce public drunkenness into account when selling alcohol.

Can you tell if one of your clientele has a had a little too much to drink? In our Alcohol Server Training we teach our students how to look for signs of intoxication – one of the basics of responsible alcohol service and sales. AACEA promotes responsible alcohol service and sales and offers online alcohol server training in Washington. For more information about your alcohol permit visitwww.aaccea.com

A Drink a Day May be Good For You

Recently Boston University Medical Center produced a study suggesting that alcohol use reduces the risk for coronary heart disease, even at consumption levels considered "hazardous". Hazardous levels were defined as more than 14 drinks a week for men, seven a week for women. A drink is considered to be 1-1/2 ounces of whiskey or other hard liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer, wine cooler and similar beverages.

Says the Times, "The researchers noted that if the risk of coronary disease does not increase despite heavier drinking, it may be that higher heart risks reported in some studies are actually the result of other kinds of heart problems, such as heart rhythm or structural defects, rather than clogged arteries."

In the study, researchers found that the rate of heart disease among moderate and hazardous drinkers was about the same as those who remained abstinent; even when factoring in differences in lifestyle. Unfortunately, the study could not take into account differences in exercise or diet.

The article notes, however, "Alcohol may help the arteries long-term, but a report published last summer by Harvard scientists found that the risk of stroke appears to double in the hour after consuming just one drink of any type of alcohol."

"At this point, we don't have enough evidence to say that people who don't drink should start, or that people who drink in small amounts, on the order of one drink a day, should stop," said Dr. Murray Mittleman, senior author of the study and director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard School of Medicine.

Though a drink may increase circulation, too much is never a good thing. AACEA promotes responsible alcohol service and sales and offers online alcohol server training in Washington. For more information about your alcohol permit visitwww.aaccea.com

Glass Shapes Confuse Even Experienced Bartenders

According to a recently published study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), many people misjudge volume based on the shape of the container into which it is poured. This phenomenon, often referred to as "portion distortion," specifically relates to the unintentional pouring of more alcohol into a short, wide glass than into a tall, thin glass. In some instances a cocktail in a short, wide glass contained as much as a quarter more alcohol than the pourer intended.

The BMJ study investigated whether training and experience could correct this tendency by comparing the pouring habits of a group of students and a group of experienced bartenders. All participants were asked to pour 11/2-ounce shots from a bottle into one of two types of glasses: short and wide and tall and slender. The students poured 30 percent more into the short glasses than the tall glasses. The experienced bartenders also overpoured, placing 20 percent more alcohol into the short glasses than the tall glasses.

AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

Applebee’s to Retrain Alcohol Server Staff after Serving Child Alcohol

Mandatory alcohol server training and paying close attention when handling alcohol and other beverages stored at the bar can prevent the type of incident we saw in the news this week.

Applebee’s Grill & Bar said Monday it would change how drinks are served after a toddler was mistakenly given alcohol instead of juice at one of its restaurants last week. The 15-month-old child was served a trace amount of alcohol Friday at an Applebee’s in Madison Heights, Mich. Police ruled it an accident, saying the child’s cup was filled from a mislabeled bottle at the bar.

Archer said Applebee’s was conducting an investigation into the incident. In the meantime, he said the chain would make immediate changes to its procedures for serving apple juice and other non-alcoholic drinks. “We will switch to pouring apple juice only from single-serve containers served at the table. We have already started communicating this new policy within our system and it will be in-place this week,” Archer said. “[Secondly,] we will retrain all servers on our beverage pouring policy, emphasizing that non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages must be stored in completely separate and identified containers.”

The incident at the Detroit-area Applebee’s is not the first time a minor was mistakenly served alcohol at one of the chain’s units. In 2006, a New York City Applebee’s accidentally served a 5-year-old a Long Island iced tea cocktail instead of apple juice. And in June 2007, the Associated Press reported that an Applebee’s unit in Antioch, Calif., accidently served a margarita to a 2-year-old instead of apple juice. Read more.

In order to serve alcohol in the State of Washington you must have an alcohol server permit. Online alcohol server training is available at http://www.aacea.com.

Increased Menu Prices Could Mean More Money In Your Pocket

Restaurants may begin increasing menu prices next year without the fear of losing customers accustomed to deals and discounts, according to a recent report from Jeff Omohundro, a senior securities analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows inflation for food at home and dining out approaching the same rates.

“With the rate of inflation for food at home increasing in recent months to 1.4 percent, in line with food away from home, we think restaurants may be better positioned to pass along menu price increases to consumers,” he said.

We all know that increased menu prices leads to higher check averages, which leads to an increase in tips. Continuing to provide excellent service is key to taking advantage of increased menu prices. Add in an alcoholic beverage up sell and you are on your way! We all know the importance of server training in order to learn about responsible alcohol service. In order to get your bartending license or alcohol servers permit in Washington you must have an alcohol server permit.

You can now take this class online at http://www.aacea.com. Len Riggs continues to offer this fun and informative class on alcohol server training and now from the comfort of your own home!

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