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A Primer on Underage Drinking

A recent report on Medscape News Today notes that teen drinking is down in 2011 - in fact, underage drinking has fallen to its lowest point in 3 years. This is good news for law enforcement and those in the alcohol industry who have been vigilant in attempting to crack down on underage drinking. Selling alcohol to minors can result in criminal charges, fines and most likely the loss of your job. For alcohol, it is your legal responsibility to make sure the person is 21 or older. If you intentionally help someone under 21 obtain or attempt to obtain alcohol, it's considered "aiding and abetting." This means you cannot help an underage person buy alcohol, you cannot buy for alcohol for them or give them any alcohol.

washington acceptable id

Reducing the number of underage drinkers can be as easy as knowing what to look for on a customer's ID. At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we provide alcohol server training that teaches prospective bartenders and servers how to quickly identify proper identification as well as spotting intoxicated customers, and knowing just how much alcohol is in a beverage. With the widespread use of fake IDs, it can be difficult to make sure you're serving to an of-age customer. There are a few guidelines for spotting fake IDs though:
  1. Compare the person in the picture to the one who is presenting it. Often, this is the biggest clue.
  2. Feel the ID for cuts in the birthdate and/or picture area. They can be subtle.
  3. Compare the identification document to the ID checking guide.
  4. Look for different types of ink on the ID, color contrasts, smudges and misprints.
  5. Overall, trust your instincts. Servers have the right to refuse sale to anyone for any reason.
Together we can help stop underage drinking and promote responsible alcohol sales and service. If you're looking 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. Sign up for one of our convenient classes at www.aacea.com!

Be the Best Server You Can Be and Provide Responsible Alcohol Service

Responsible service of alcohol is just one aspect of the job in the hospitality industry. What does it take to be a really good server? In order to be a successful server, you have to have a good memory and be able to think fast. Having a positive attitude is key in dealing with the ups and downs of the restaurant business. Dealing with the kitchen and sometimes impatient guests, requires you to be engaging, accommodating and professional. But first things first, learn the menu and learn it fast! When guests ask questions you want to have a knowledgeable answer ready. By knowing your menu you will quickly be able to identify opportunities to up sell and therefore increase your check average.
  • Learn your guests’ names and use them
  • Anticipate their needs and be there when you are needed
  • Remove plates, glasses and other used items promptly
  • Learn your wines and know what to offer with each menu item
Most importantly, know the signs of intoxication and how to deal with kindly and properly cutting a guest off. Get your manager involved and stay cool. AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information on Washington alcohol certification and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

Drunk Facebooking: A Serious Issue

Part of being a responsible alcohol server is to make sure you're not over-serving, or serving alcohol to minors. This includes checking ID, and verifying acceptable ID, and knowing when to say no to over-intoxicated customers. One recent study shows that underage drinking or problem drinking - which are both very serious problems - can also possibly be curbed through Facebook. A recent study found that college-age students who frequently posted photos or status updates about being drunk were more likely to experience alcohol related problems - showing that they either drank too much or drank in unhealthy situations. Amid concerns of privacy violations, schools and universities have discussed this finding - especially since the research could help schools identify students who may need counseling through alcohol-related situations. A Reuters Article on the subject says:
Dr. Megan Moreno from the University of Wisconsin-Madison led a team of researchers from her university and the University of Washington in Seattle who surveyed the Facebook pages, including photos and posts, of 224 undergrads with publicly-available profiles. About two-thirds of those students had no references to alcohol or drinking on their pages. The rest of the pages mentioned or had pictures of social, non-problematic drinking or more serious and risky alcohol use, including riding in a car while drunk or getting in trouble related to drinking. The researchers brought all the students in for a 10-question screening test used to determine who is at risk for problem drinking. That test assesses the frequency of drinking and binge drinking as well as negative consequences from alcohol use. Close to six in ten of the students whose Facebook pages had references to drunkenness and other dangerous drinking scored above the cutoff showing a risk for alcohol abuse and dependence, as well as other drinking-related problems. That compared to 38 percent of students who had more minor references to alcohol and 23 percent of those who didn't mention alcohol or drinking at all, according to findings published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. In addition, close to one in five Facebook-implicated risky drinkers said they had an alcohol-related injury in the previous year.
Moreno and her colleagues theorized that this kind of Facebook "evidence" could be used as a red-flag, where school residential assistants and counselors could either talk with the student or the student's parents. However, as Dr. James Niels Rosenquist, a social media researcher and psychiatrist from Massachusetts General Hospital stated, this kind of information only shows a very small snapshot into a person's life - and it may not be enough evidence to show who may need to be screened for alcohol related issues. One way to help curb underage drinking is to require any person serving alcohol to go through alcohol server training. If you need your mandatory alcohol server training, or server permit, visit www.aacea.com. We offer a full range of classes to help you learn how to become a better bartender and how to be a responsible server.

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. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. 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.

Oscar Party Prep: Champagne Punch

The Oscars are upon us! Whether you're hosting a party at home, or serving alcohol at a well-loved bar, choose a delicious bubbly drink for your Oscar Party attendees. A champagne punch is a festive addition to any occasion!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup triple sec or Grand Marnier
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup Chambord, or other raspberry flavored liquor
  • 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 quart chilled ginger ale
  • 2 chilled (750 ml) bottles dry Champagne
  • 2 cups raspberries
1. In a large bowl or pitcher, combine the triple sec, brandy, Chambord and pineapple juice and chill covered for at least 4 hours or overnight. 2. In a large punch bowl, combine the triple sec mixture, the ginger ale, Champagne and ice cubes if desired. 3. Garnish punch with raspberries and serve. If you need a recipe that's more tailored to the individual, but still packs a punch, try a French 75!

Ingredients

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 tsp sugar (superfine if possible)
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 5 oz Brut champagne
1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, sugar and lemon juice and shake well with cracked ice. 2. Fill a Collins glass partway with ice and strain the gin mixture into it. 3.Top off with champagne.

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America’s Alcohol Certified Education Association provides online alcohol server training – you can get your Washington State alcohol server‘s permit in only 3 hours, and you can be at work in the service industry that day! Check out our online training to take alcohol server training classes in Washington and Oregon from the comfort of your own home. Visit www.aacea.com.

Smarter Responsible Alcohol Service

In a recent report, we discovered that more and more bars are using QR codes (aka Quick Response codes) to make sure their patrons get home safely. An article on MyCentralJersey.com reports:
...Local bars will be using QR codes to advertise taxi companies to help get [clients] home safely. Young adults will simply use their smart phone to scan the codes on table tents, posters and business cards to easily view a list of taxi companies.
This initiative, adopted by establishments with alcohol service, provides a way for drinkers to get home safely, and still enjoy a drink or two. In a similar measure, Seattle continues to improve it's Seattle Nightlife program aimed at curbing drunk driving by providing safe transportation alternatives. Info on overnight parking is posted on parking meters city wide - offering Pre-Paid parking for the next day, should drivers choose to leave their car parked instead of driving drunk. The program also focuses on making Taxi zones more visible and dependable in parts of the city with concentrated nightlife destinations, and strives to make bus service more dependable and accessible for drinkers after a night out on the town. The Seattle Nightlife initiative is aimed at maintaining public safety, while providing businesses with greater flexibility to adapt to the market demands of residents and visitors. What can you do as an alcohol server? Keep an eye on your patrons and know when enough is enough. Part of responsible alcohol sales & service is being able to read your customers. Not only that, but it's helpful to keep a list of numbers for local taxi services on hand. Most reasonable patrons will thank you for keeping their best interests in mind. Part of becoming a certified bartender is providing responsible alcohol service aimed at reducing drunk driving. America's Alcohol Certification Education Association is committed to teaching future bartenders the basic tenets of responsible alcohol service and sales. For a list of our online alcohol certification classes, please visit www.aacea.com.

State Liquor Pilot Project Allows Alcohol Tastings

30 state, pilot and tribal liquor stores in Washington are testing a pilot program to allow spirit or hard alcohol tastings in-store. Sampling will be limited to a 1/4 ounce with four samples maximum. Only product sponsors, such as a distiller representatives, may serve samples. These alcohol servers must have the WSLCB-Approved Mandatory Alcohol Server Training Permit. The pilot program starts today (September 1st) and is a year-long program, intended to introduce premium products to store customers. Details of these 30 stores which allow spirit tastings can be found on the events page of the stores and products section of the WSLCB website at www.liq.wa.gov. Stores are permitted one tasting event per week. The tasting events will be either Fridays or Saturdays from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m "The spirits sampling pilot is a win for both consumers and producers,” said Carrie Tellefson of the Distillery Representatives Association of Washington. “With so many products available, the tasting events offer consumers a valuable opportunity to taste spirits in a controlled environment, learn about new, premium products and provide valuable feedback for distillers." The Distillery Representatives Association of Washington is an organization committed to representing the Alcohol Beverage Community in a manner that advances the understanding of the issues and challenges that affect our industry. DRAW works with the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the State Legislature to eliminate underage drinking and promote responsible alcohol consumption. Of the pilot program, WSLCB Chair Sharon Foster said, “We are excited to have this opportunity for our customers to taste new and interesting products in our stores. With more than 1,100 spirits products available in state stores, customers can now enhance their product knowledge by trying something they may never have considered before and learn first-hand about the products from distillers’ representatives.” Stores were selected based on retail sales volume, locations, and appropriate in-store space for sampling, as well as traffic accident data and proximity to churches and schools. At AACEA, 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.

Tips to Look Like a Bartending Pro!

Straight from getting your MAST certification, you might still feel a little wet behind the ears in the world of bartending. Here's a few tips on how you can look like a pro from the start: Keep a smile on your face No matter how busy it gets, or how many customers are trying to get your attention, you can only serve one person at a time. Keep smiling, and try to crack a few jokes. Remember that people are there to have a good time, so they'll be appreciative of you keeping things light. Learn how to rim a drink properly You want the salt or sugar to be on the outside of the rim; nobody wants it falling into the drink. For a bit of dash, take a slice of lemon or lime and slick it around the edge, then tilt the glass and rotate it around in the sugar or salt. Let other bartenders know where you are Always, always let other bartenders know when you are behind them, especially if they're known for trying fancy tricks with bottles. See how everyone else is doing it, but just saying 'behind you' or tapping them on the shoulder ought to do it. Equally, try to be aware of who is coming and going behind you, too. Don't cry over spilt milk! You will spill something, and probably break something too. This happens, so just apologise, tidy up and carry on. It's not the end of your career. You might be the butt of a few jokes for the rest of the night, but don't take it personally. Head to AACEA.com to get your bartending certification and enter into the fast-paced world of bartending.

When Enough is Enough

We've lost so many lives recently to addictions - especially alcohol addictions. With headlines decrying car crashes and binge drinking, and newspapers talking about the dangers of mixing drinks with medication, some may start to ask how to prevent these type of events. And accusations start flying at the bartenders that continue to serve and over-serve these clientele, who quickly become a danger to themselves and others. At AACEA we educate alcohol servers on how to serve alcohol responsibly and how to become a better bartender. We feel it's important to look at these cases of driving under the influence, and assess where we can do better. Our students at AACEA are the first line of defense against drunk driving. As an article on the Ryan Dunn incident suggests,
Bartenders across the country face the same challenges all the time. Whenever a person is in a car accident, especially a fatal one, it is natural for family and friends to want to point fingers, and police typically investigate the bartender to see if anyone was selling to an openly drunk customer. “We often get the question of what should bartenders do,” Sgt. Wayne Bush of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement says. “First, don’t serve a person to that point — shut them off. If they slur their words, stand and are wobbly, hold on to the bar, are nodding off or have trouble getting money out of their wallet, they’ve had enough. Don’t wait for them to puke on the floor or to pick a fight. That’s too late.” In the case of more experienced drinkers however, it isn’t that easy. “The bartender and wait staff have the obligation not to serve someone who is visibly intoxicated,” Bush said. “What they have to realize is that someone can be drinking and not appear to be intoxicated because the last drinks haven’t hit his system. It all depends on the person; someone who is a regular drinker will be able to drink more.” To make things more difficult, some people won’t take no for an answer. Someone who is cut off from a bartender can easily go to a table of strangers and beg a drink from them.
When dealing with experienced drinkers, it can be difficult to tell when to stop serving. You might be tipped off by either excessively loud or excessively withdrawn behavior. Your customer may not be able to completely focus on the task at hand, or may lose a little hand-eye coordination. You may be able to tell by rambling conversation or offensive language. Part of being a good bartender is knowing your clientele and being able to quickly spot those who may be under the influence. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEAis 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.

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.

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