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).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 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.
While food service violations are not among the most common violations, restaurants should be aware of the food service requirements for their liquor license type.
The WSLCB this fall adopted new food requirements for spirits, beer and wine restaurants. Highlights: * Expanded items that are considered an entrée to include hamburgers, salads, sandwiches, pizza and breakfast items as long as they include a side dish. * Entrees do not include snack items, menu items which consist solely of precooked frozen food that is reheated, or carry-out items obtained from other businesses. * Increased the number of complete meals required from four to eight. A complete meal is an entrée (steak, fish, pasta, etc.) and at least one side dish (soup, vegetables, salad, potatoes, french fries, rice, fruit, and bread). * Restaurants must serve complete meals for five hours a day, five days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Previously, the hours were between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Restaurants having problems meeting their food service requirement should look into the new spirits, beer and wine nightclub liquor license, which is for businesses that primarily provide live entertainment and serve alcohol with main hours between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. The license does not have a food requirement.
Available resources Restaurants should take advantage of the following resources: * Written business policies that describe expectations and how to handle various situations should be developed, and regularly shared with employees. * Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) is required by law for managers, bartenders and other employees who serve or supervise the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption. * WSLCB Responsible Alcohol and Tobacco Sales classes are offered regularly around the state by WSLCB enforcement officers. Class schedules. * WSLCB website has information on selling responsibly and public safety laws, educational videos and more. * WSLCB enforcement officers are available to help you understand liquor laws. Enforcement Customer Service: (360) 664-9878
In conclusion, restaurants can contribute to public safety and keep their customers safe by carrying out their work in a way that supports Washington's liquor laws.