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"Prohibition" Series Looks at Illegalizing Alcohol

From 1920 to 1933, the US 18th Amendment, or Volstead Act banned alcohol countrywide. Now, a new series on PBS titled "Prohibition", and produced by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick shows the motives, methods, and melee that occurred when alcohol was banned in the US according to Zap 2 It.

Alcohol was considered one of the original sins of America, spurring the movement to ban the substance. Burns and Novick's series highlights the consequences of the Volstead act, including the criminalization of the alcohol industry and the rise of violent gangs as a result. Its prohibition gave rise to gangsters like Al Capone, and police were paid to look the other way. Speakeasies popped up, around the country, and in the more elite populations, cocktail parties became popular.

The support of and opposition to Prohibition represented competing strains of American thought. Where the "Roaring Twenties" introduced more progressive thought, the Temperance Movement which supported Prohibition, looked to take away certain American freedoms. The filmmakers note that while alcohol can cause social problems, it has also been a large part of human society for ages.

Says Novick, "There were many, many problems with Prohibition, but one was a fundamental misreading of the place of alcohol and also the fact that alcohol, inherently, is not bad for everyone."

"It coincided with this great liberation of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties economically," Burns says. "The only thing that's going backwards is Prohibition. Everything else is going forwards; half the country becomes lawbreakers. It is a descent into hell paved entirely with good intentions."

At AACEA, we're committed to bring you news and reviews on events in the hospitality and beverage industry. AACEA provides online alcohol server training and certified bartending classes. To get your mandatory alcohol server training certificate today vist www.aacea.com. Each month, AACEA raffles off $100 to one of our MAST students.

Across the US, Alcohol Consumption is Up.

According to USAToday:
Consumption of alcohol hit a 25-year high in 2010, when 67% of Americans reported drinking alcoholic beverages, according to a Gallup poll. That's a level unseen since the late 1970s, when 71% of Americans said they drank.
It's interesting to note:
Americans drank more wine than ever last year, 2.3 gallons apiece. That's up 35% since 1994. Spirits climbed 18% to 1.5 gallons per person for the same period, while beer intake dropped 7% to 20.7 gallons, says the Beer Institute.
What does the increase in alcohol consumption mean for certified alcohol servers? 1. Your establishment may be busier! Due to economic downturn, many people are looking for ways to blow off steam, or to get some valuable socialization time if they've been recently laid off. This might translate to an increase in customers who are looking for a cheap drink. 2. You may see an increase in intoxicated customers. Americans are consuming more alcohol on a whole - and more alcohol generally means more intoxication. It's important to have tactics for dealing with intoxicated customers and it's important to know when to say no. 3. You may see an increase in attempts at underage drinking. It's best to scrutinize scenarios in which you think your patron may be underage. It helps to familiarize yourself with local drivers' licenses and to adopt a policy for dealing with underage drinking. If you're looking to become a certified alcohol server and take online alcohol certification classes to get your Washington Server Permit or your Oregon server's permit, visit www.aacea.com. Each month, we raffle off $100 to a lucky student - put your name in the hat today by signing up for your mandatory alcohol server training with America's Alcohol Certified Education Association.

How Privatization of Alcohol Could Affect Washington State

If you are a Washington state resident and a registered voter (and even if you aren't), you have probably heard about initiative 1183 regarding privatization of the state alcohol system, passed last Tuesday. For those in the hospitality industry, it is important to stay informed on measures that affect how we do business. That's why we've been keeping tabs on the discussion on initiative 1183 and how it could affect the alcohol industry in Washington. The campaign for initiative 1183 was one of the most expensive campaigns in state history and there are a lot of issues on the line. On the initiative, a Huffington Post article writes:
"...Dubbed the 'Costco initiative' [this bill will] end state-run liquor stores in [Washington]. Sales in the state are currently only through stores run by the state's Liquor Control Board, a Prohibition-era policy. ...The new law would allow any store over 10,000 square feet to sell alcohol, along with continuing to allow the small contract stores under the current system to sell.... Convenience stores and gas stations would not be able to sell alcohol, however..."
The Moderate voice provided an interesting view on the subject, saying:
"The initiative would take Washington state out of both the distribution and retail sales business.... Washington state buys liquor from the source (or its representative), manages a central distribution warehouse, and sells liquor (and wine) in both state-run and contract liquor stores. Most of the public angst about I-1183 relates to retail sales, although the primary money behind the “vote no” campaign [was] from distributors, the middlemen in this deal... ...The most thorough examination of data over time (1950-2000), determined that 'Privatization had a significant permanent effect on the sale of spirits, but the effect was not large enough to affect total sales' and 'There was no significant effect on the number of fatal motor vehicle traffic accidents.'"
State-run liquor store employees, however, have cause to be concerned, as state-run liquor stores have 680 full-time employees and 714 hourly employees, who will no longer be employed by Washington state-run liquor stores after June 1. The new initiative also means layoffs for shipping companies like Kent-based Pozzi Trucking. They are one of four shipping companies delivering liquor to state stores. At AACEA, we’re committed to bringing you news on issues like these in the hospitality and beverage industry. AACEA provides online alcohol server training and bartending certification classes. To get your mandatory alcohol server training certificate today vist www.aacea.com. Each month, AACEA raffles off $100 to one of our MAST students - sign up today and be eligible to win.

In the Service of Care

Too many people all crammed into a bar, the sway back, rock forward, tipsy movements. There she comes again, that specimen of service, gracing everyone with smiles, gentle excuses, and spirits. She weaves through the crowd, never stopping, never dropping. Her heart beats to the rhythm of the music, her hand twitches through her tickets, and her mind keeps track of all the loose ends. In the corner, a dark space, far against the wall, she keeps an eye on those two love birds, filling the glass, or stopping to ask if the comfort is still there. Also, at arms length, she watches those bodies, all of those bodies, because her word is the law when it comes to making sure safety is upheld. Her service requires care for every individual, a blessing and a curse, as they beckon, are denied, yell and scream, blink and babble. Unexpectedly, righteously, she stands between that door. No one leaves with their breath on fire, or their track off kilter. A cab can be called, or a friend, and she knows just what to do, water and well wishing keeps this smile in service. -- The Author, Alexandra Erwin, is one of our runners up in the Scholarship to Save Lives competition. In addition to our $500 scholarship, we selected 3 recipients for a runner-up prize of $100. Thank you so much to Alexandra and to all of our entrants. AACEAprovides 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 Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Montana DUI Task Force Holds First Alcohol Sales and Service Training Class

The Lewis and Clark county DUI task force, along with Youth Connections, held its first Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Training Class Tuesday. In an effort to prevent underage drinking, and auto accidents involving alcohol Montana passed a Mandatory Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Training Act, requiring all places that sell alcoholic beverages train their servers and sales staff to recognize intoxicated or under-age patrons. Training has to be completed by September 30, 2011. In accordance with this new legislation, a DUI task force in Lewis and Clark County conducted its first Alcohol Sales and Service Training Class, handing out Certificates of Completion from the Montana Department of Revenue-Liquor License Control. Now, any Montana server who stocks shelves, serves, supervises and manages an establishment with alcohol must take the class, aimed at reducing the impact of alcohol impairment and impaired driving. From an article in the Helena Independent Record on Alcohol Server Training: "The class... focuses on things like how to spot a fake ID, the law that prohibits sales to anyone 'who is apparently, obviously or actually intoxicated,' and the personal civil liability a server or seller carries if an underage or over-served individual gets behind the wheel. These topics teach [attendees] how to do their job responsibly while keeping themselves, their customers, and the community safe. "This is a hot button topic in communities around Montana. For the first time in Montana’s history, a bartender and manager were charged criminally after they over served the man who hit Trooper Michael Haynes head on. Trooper Haynes died as a result of his injuries. This criminal charge embodies a shift being seen across Montana as lawmakers grapple to get a handle on the state’s overwhelming DUI problem. Alcohol sellers and servers are being held accountable for those they serve who get behind the wheel after they over indulge." America's Alcohol Certified Education Association provides mandatory alcohol server training, promoting 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.

Scholarship to Save Lives Runner Up Arieshia Watson

When I first began serving tables at eighteen, I was the youngest in my restaurant. I can remember going through the class learning about the dangers of serving alcohol to different types of people and being extremely afraid to take on the challenge. In my restaurant I trained for five days and at minimum three of those day involved liquor and its hazards. As I acknowledged the responsibility, I decided to take it on full force accepting the opportunity and the privilege that I was given. Now at twenty, I can recall many incidences where my authority has been questioned because of my youth. But, every time I ask for a person's ID I remember that I could be the direct cause of an incident involving alcohol. Not only is it important for me to properly serve alcohol, but it runs even more crucial when I legally can't drink it myself. The risk of a federal offense seems to be more of an incentive to work hard, keeping drunk drivers off of the road. Most people don't realize how serious over-serving alcohol or serving to minors truly is. I am proud to say that I know the risks and I work exceptionally hard to maintain a safe environment during my time serving. Giving this responsibility to young adults at my age can be very stressful because of the consequences that alcohol consumption can bring. I believe that my Liquor license is one of the most vital pieces of paper that I will ever have, and I feel rewarded as I can say that I earn it every day. -- Author, Arieshia Watson, is one of our runners up in the Scholarship to Save Lives competition. In addition to our $500 scholarship, we selected 3 recipients for a runner-up prize of $100. Thank you so much to Arieshia and to all of our entrants. AACEAprovides 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 Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Scholarship to Save Lives Winner!

AACEA and Len Riggs want to send out a special thank you to everyone who entered our Scholarship to Save Lives competition. We picked a winner: Will Franz who wrote this original composition. Click to listen to: Send a Friend-Will Franz Verse 1 Just sittin' alone as I watch his expressions change Thinking only God knows if he's ever going to change his ways But he promised me it's the last time we'd be out on a school night A 34 old man should know what's right Verse 2 A couple hours in and he's stumblin' pretty hard He polished off his last drink as I guide us out to the car But he claims he's fine to drive us home I just wish he'd call a cab instead An eight-year-old should be in bed Chorus Oh lend a hand I know you hear me so please will you lend a hand Oh send a friend Please pretty Angel I need oh I need a friend Oh please don't forget me tonight Verse 3 My tired eyes stayed glued to all the passing cars We kept drifting left and right but we've made it out pretty far And I know we were so close to home, there couldn't be a mile left Just please hear my prayer to live Chorus Oh lend a hand I know you hear me so please will you lend a hand Oh send a friend Please pretty Angel I need oh I need a friend Oh please don't forget me tonight Oh please don't forget me Bridge The man before me now is not the man I held so high He's got to give it up and gain control And become the dad I've been waiting for Maybe then we can start another life Chorus Oh lend a hand I know you hear me so please will you lend a hand Oh send a friend Please pretty Angel I need oh I need a friend Oh please don't forget me tonight Oh please don't forget me tonight We're truly amazed to have such talented entrants! Thank you to everyone who participated, and remember, AACEAprovides 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 Washington visit www.aacea.com.

The Facilitation of Positive Experience in Food and Alcohol Service

I worked my way through my undergraduate studies in creative writing at Western Washington University through various jobs in food service, all of which included serving tables with alcoholic beverages: from aperitifs, to fine wines, to micro-brew beers. Jobs in the alcohol and food service industry allowed me the flexibility I needed as a student to balance work with studies, and without these jobs I wouldn’t have been able to support myself through school. I began with a job busing tables at Dirty Dan Harris’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Fairhaven just shortly after my twenty-first birthday, barely old enough myself to sample the fine wines we served, let alone know anything about how they paired with the offerings on our menu. Since then, my palate has come a long way. As a server, I can appreciate how good wine is paired best with good company. As a writer, I appreciate how great stories are told best over a drink shared with an intimate audience of friends. The best of these stories are the incredulous ones--the ones where you lean across the table and demand of its teller, “Did that really happen?!” As a server in the community of Bellingham, I had regular customers who I came to know and care for through their patronage of the restaurants in which I worked and served them drinks. We all have a need, on occasion, to be cared for. Through serving food to my customers with warmth and compassion, I could help meet a very basic and primal need for nutrition, and facilitate a positive experience for them to share with their friends and loved ones. Reckless alcohol consumption, however, does not facilitate a positive experience. And it is here that the importance of a server’s role as facilitator is fulfilled. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a facilitator as one who “helps to bring about an outcome by providing indirect and unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or support.” As far as I am capable, I have tried my best to ensure my patrons’ positive experience dining out carries through the meal, from the moment they get up to leave the table, all the way through arriving safely at home. Besides, there’s hardly a good story to tell when you can’t remember what happened in the first place. And like in any great story, a person (or a character) makes choices that have real outcomes they’ll carry with them through the rest of their lives (or narrative arc). As a student at Western Washington University, it was important to me that I bridged the gap between being a college student residing in the town of Bellingham, who is bound to come and go within a few years, and a community member who makes a positive impact on the people she encounters in her time here, however short or long that time may be. The jobs I held in food and alcohol service played a large role in this. I graduated from Western in 2009, and decided to stay in Bellingham a few years more to work on my writing and continue working in the service industry. But the time has come in which I must move on. In the fall I’ll be starting as a first-year graduate student at Ohio University in the Master’s in Arts in Creative Writing program in Athens, Ohio. As a graduate student at Ohio University teaching Freshman Composition courses, I will have the unique opportunity to reach out to entering freshmen as they begin their college experience in a new town--a small college town very similar to Bellingham. I view my objective as a graduate instructor in much the same light as that of a server: to facilitate a meaningful and rewarding experience, challenging my students and myself to bridge the gap between being a college student and being a community member. Many of my students will be pledging to sororities or fraternities while enrolled in my composition course. Through the instruction they receive in my classes, I hope to instill in them the knowledge, awareness, and sense of accountability that they are all responsible as individuals and as a community as a whole to facilitate positive experiences for themselves and their peers while at Ohio University and onward. -- The author, Melissa Queen, is one of our runners up in the Scholarship to Save Lives competition. In addition to our $500 scholarship, we selected 3 recipients for a runner-up prize of $100. Thank you so much to Melissa and to all of our entrants. AACEAprovides 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 Washington visit www.aacea.com.

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