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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

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.

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.

Alcohol Sales to Minors in Washington State

Restaurants may not sell or serve alcohol to those under 21 years of age. While not required by law, checking identification is key to preventing sales to minors. Restaurants should have a policy that dictates when an ID should be checked and what forms of acceptable ID are permitted at the business. Acceptable forms of ID * A drivers license, ID card, or instruction permit issued by any U.S. state or Canadian province * A Washington temporary drivers license (paper license) * A U.S. Military ID * An official passport * A merchant marine ID * A Washington State tribal enrollment card A valid ID must show: * Date of birth * Signature (except U.S. Military IDs) * Photo * Note: If an ID has an expiration date, the ID must not be expired How to check ID: * Ask for identification. * Have the customer hand you the ID. Do not accept or handle a customer's wallet. * Check the expiration date. Do not accept expired ID. * Check the date of birth. For vertical Washington IDs, check the information to the left of the photo to make sure the customer has turned 21. * Verify the photo matches the customer. * Verify the IDs unique features (for example, on a Washington ID, a black state seal overlaps the photo). AACEA provides alcohol training in Washington. It is important to know how to properly check ID to protect yourself when serving alcohol. To take your alcohol server training class and get your alcohol 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.

Bartender Question: How do I Cut a Customer Off?

In the bartending industry, certified bartenders may find themselves facing rowdy customers who have had a little too much to drink. Knowing the signs of over-intoxication, and when to say no are part of responsible server training. America’s Alcohol Certified Education Association asked bartending pro Jeffrey Morgenthaler how to cut someone off - on the subject, he says, "Telling someone “No more” can lead to an uncomfortable situation. So that’s why I now try to approach the denial of alcohol from a hospitality-centric perspective: I’m the one who helped get you into this mess, and now I’m going to be the one who helps you get out of it – a bartender in every sense of the word." Some of the best methods for cutting unruly customers fall into the category of simply caring for your customer. You want them to continue to come back for a long time to come, which means that in no condition should they get in their car while inebriated. Jeffrey suggests simply explaining this to them - and then by suggesting food, soft drinks, water or coffee to over-inebriated guests, you keep them in a safe place, while giving them a little bit more time to sober up. The next step after diffusing the situation is to alert the rest of your crew, so that nobody continues to over-serve your guest. Bartenders who seem caring, who de-escalate the situation, and who offer to help clients seem to have the best results when cutting off customers. Many of Jeffrey's very smart readers also provided insight on this bartending conundrum. One reader mentioned "actively managing" your clientele. Heath says: "When I probably have had too much, bartenders often take far longer to come back to ask for my next drink than they usually do, or they forget the drinks I’ve ordered, or introduce me to someone who’s about to go have a cigarette. I appreciate these measures that let me save face (and sometimes not even notice that it’s happening), while having the same effect of keeping me from having far too much more to drink." One clever commenter mentioned a game she created to cut off inebriated customers. Cheryl says: "I had to come up with something creative. It’s my bartender nature to always bring humor into as much of life as possible, so I went out and bought an Operation game. I used the game for guests I felt should be cut-off. I’d pull it out with a big smile and tell the drunken soul that I would strike a deal with them. The rules were simple. Get all the bones out without the red buzzer nose going off and I’d serve them another drink. The game on the bartop was a magnet of fun and as you might have guessed, a big hit. The people that loved it the best were the local cops. They called it my sobriety test." By keeping your cool and being discrete about cutting someone off, you encourage your customers to continue returning to your establishment. Not only that - you diffuse potentially unsafe situations. AACEA's certified bartenders gain valuable experience like cutting off inebriated customers at our mandatory alcohol server training classes. We provide online alcohol server training, while promoting responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your servers permit, visit www.aacea.com.

Bartending Icons: Reggie St. Paul

As time passes, drinks change, styles change, tastes change, but one thing that never changes is the service that bartenders give their customers. Licensed bartenders through the ages - such as Reggie St. Paul - have always had to focus on responsible alcohol service. A bartender for more than 40 years, Reggie St. Paul of Cambridge, MA has poured drinks for celebrities like Miles Davis and St. Louis Cardinals Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson.

St. Paul has watched people change, times change, and consumer tastes change over his bartending career. A former school teacher, who's served tens of thousands of customers, St. Paul says he still enjoys coming to work at The Blue Room’s ash bar in Kendall Square.

“I know every day is going to be different,’’ says St. Paul, “And I like it because I work with people who are young.’’

An article on Boston.com notes:

Through the decades, he has watched drinkers rediscover cocktails and seen smoke-filled rooms consigned to the ashtray of history.

... He remembers when drinking was serious stuff, when tastes were dramatically different, and a bar could go through eight to 10 bottles of whiskey and bourbon a night, compared with only one bottle of gin and one bottle of vodka.

Drinking habits have changed dramatically since then, often circling back to decades-old tendencies. Cocktails are popular once more, wine is nearly a given, and bartenders must learn or reacquaint themselves with the mechanics of an intricately mixed drink.

“We’re doing cocktails of the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s,’’ St. Paul says. “It’s become exciting.’’ One big difference, he says, is that “to some people now, the glass is more important than what’s in it.’’

But some things never change for bartenders, including their interaction with customers, the social psychology they develop, and their ability to defuse potential confrontations. And then there are the physical demands.

At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we tip our hats to certified bartenders like Reggie St. Paul, who continue to provide responsible alcohol sales and excellent customer service.

AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. For more information on Washington alcohol certification and bartender licensing, or to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

Be a Better Bartender!

Whether you bartend part-time or full-time, it is one of the most lucrative jobs in the hospitality industry. Even when the economy is not in great shape, many people will still go out drinking. As a bartender, you can make decent cash on the spot from tips, but the better bartender you are, the more cash you will make! To be a great bartender, you need to have a great personality. Smile, have a sense of humor, be outgoing, and enjoy your job. These are the things that really make a great bartender. As a bartender, you have a responsibility to not over-serve your guests. Not only does it put your job and the community at risk, but a drunken guest does not equal better tips! BE ATTENTIVE. It is important that you are attentive. Be aware of when your guest is getting low on their drink. Don’t wait until they are finishing the last drop to ask if they want another. The key here is still not to over-serve! BE KNOWLEDGEABLE. It is important that you know how to make a good drink. Be aware of ingredients in a drink in case you have to substitute. Know all of your basic drinks and know your wines! Food pairing is important in any establishment and it is important to know which wine to offer with each item on the menu. BE ABLE TO MULTI-TASK. Remember that you are in customer service. Multi-tasking is key. Being able to take someone's drink order while giving change to someone else is efficient and saves you time. KNOW YOUR REGULARS. At the minimum, know people's first name. If a customer comes in and sits at the bar on a regular basis, you should learn his name, his drink, his job, and his spouse's name. Be attentive to his needs and take the time to talk to him or her. KNOW THE LAW! You play an important role in keeping your guests safe by selling alcohol responsibly and ensuring liquor laws are followed. It is crucial to check IDs carefully, watch for signs of intoxication and create an environment that discourages disorderly behavior. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit 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.

Cocktail Culture is Killing Bartending

An article on SeriousEats.com asks if cocktail culture is killing the art of bartending. The writer, Michael Neff, says that the nostalgia for vintage cocktails has birthed a "cocktail culture" where drinks like the Manhattan are king - despite whether or not anyone actually likes them. This nostalgia is alienating the only people who can tell us whether or not these drinks are any good. Those people are the consumers. Neff states:
"Much of the current cocktail trend is based on nostalgia, and it is difficult to say it, but many cocktails that we now call "forgotten classics" are forgotten for a reason. They have the shine of history, and we're told we are supposed to love them, but they're too sweet, they lack balance, and they kind of suck. The Jerry Thomas Manhattan (2-1 Whiskey to Vermouth, Angostura Bitters, with a dash of Cointreau) tastes like syrup. It certainly doesn't taste like whiskey. But it's the earliest written recipe of the Manhattan, and people are told that it's how a Manhattan is supposed to be made. Choke it down if you can, but don't dare say you don't like it. Who the hell are you, anyway? This is a big problem for all of us. The consumer feels judged (because they are), and walks away feeling smaller than they walked in."
That judgement, Neff notes, happens when bars push vintage cocktails on their menus. These heavy-hitting drinks taste much stiffer, are much stronger, and sometimes lack the balance of many modern cocktails. Bartenders who work primarily in cocktail bars serving these nostalgic drinks may forget that today's consumer has a different palate than the consumers of yesteryear. He goes on to say,
"The upside to this upswing in mixology is that we have the privilege to stand on the shoulders of giants and have taken the cocktail to a realm more respected than it has ever been before. We have more ingredients, better spirits, and the combined culinary history of the last hundred years to guide us in our current experiments. It's exciting, and I'm honored to be a part of it. The obsession with recreating cocktails in their original form stifles the creativity of people who want to push drinks to taste better."
What do you think, readers? Do you prefer the newer, more complex drinks? Or will you stand by the old standards? AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol – 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.

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!

Four Loko Cans Now Required to Show Alcohol Content

Four Loko - a caffeinated malt beverage - has been banned by Washington State Liquor Control after many college-age students were hospitalized because of the drink. The contrasting effects of caffeine and alcohol are said to somewhat cancel each other out, leading to higher consumption of the product. Those who are not used to drinking alochol may over-consume, causing alcohol-related injury. As an alcohol vendor, and as a part of being a responsible alcohol server, it's important to know that products like these have been banned. It's also important to know the effects of what Four Loko can do, and the average alcohol content in a can. Known among college students as "blackout in a can" this controversial product has been banned in other states, including Michigan for the same reason. A push is currently underway in New York and Oregon for a statewide sales ban. In one report, Four Loko manufacturer Phusion Projects defended its product, saying that can that warned of the drink's contents and called attention to the need for identification to purchase it. "The unacceptable incident at Central Washington University, which appears to have involved hard liquor... and possibly illicit substances," the statement read, "is precisely why we go to great lengths to ensure that our products are not sold to underage consumers and are not abused." Now, in a push from the FTC, Four Loko cans are required to state just how much alcohol the beverage has in it; a whopping 12%, which shows one can of Four Loko has approximately the same alcohol content as 4-5 cans of beer. The FTC alleges that Phusion misrepresented the amount of alcohol in those cans. Phusion has been known to state that one can of Four Loko is the equivalent of one to two regular cans of 12-ounce beers – instead of four to five cans. Phusion also has marketed these cans as a single serving, and the cans are not resealable, which encourages the drinker to consume the product all at once. Phusion considers it safe to consume a whole can of Four Loko, while the FTC considers consuming an entire can on a single occasion equivalent to “binge drinking.” Four Loko spokesperson and lobbyist Jim Halstrom says, "No one is more upset than we are when our products are abused or consumed illegally by underage drinkers, but we also believe curbing alcohol abuse or underage drinking will not be accomplished by singling out a lone product or beverage category. We think the true answer lies with increased education and awareness by all and with respect for the law." It seems as if the answer is two-fold. On one hand, the makers of Four Loko should be required to disclose information about the content of what's in their product. On the other hand, there is a responsibility by the vendors to check ID's - to make sure alcohol isn't being sold to minors, and to ensure products are not being sold to those who are intoxicated. Part of responsible alcohol service is knowing your part in matters like these. To get your mandatory alcohol servers permit, and take alcohol online classes from the comfort of your own home, visit www.aacea.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. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

Help Draw the Line Between Youth and Underage Drinking

In support of the Let’s Draw the Line campaign, hundreds of students came together to take a stance against underage drinking. These individuals made their own unique mark by painting blue lines down white cards and then physically “drew the line” as a united front at this year’s Prevention Summit. This event was designed to help reduce the problem of underage drinking in the State of Washington and encourage youth and young adults to get involved in their communities. During your alcohol server training you learn the importance of checking valid identification so that you do not serve alcohol to a minor. Providing alcohol to minors is a gross misdemeanor, with a potential penalty of $5,000 and a year in jail. Read RCW 66.44.270. In Washington State it is illegal for minors to be in a bar. As a bartender in Washington it is your responsibility to ensure that you check the identification of everyone frequenting the establishment in which you work. Minors frequenting off-limits area — Misrepresentation of age — Penalty — Classification of licensees. (1) Except as otherwise provided by RCW 66.44.316, 66.44.350, and 66.24.590, it shall be a misdemeanor: (a) To serve or allow to remain in any area classified by the board as off-limits to any person under the age of twenty-one years; (b) For any person under the age of twenty-one years to enter or remain in any area classified as off-limits to such a person, but persons under twenty-one years of age may pass through a restricted area in a facility holding a spirits, beer, and wine private club license; (c) For any person under the age of twenty-one years to represent his or her age as being twenty-one or more years for the purpose of purchasing liquor or securing admission to, or remaining in any area classified by the board as off-limits to such a person. (2) The Washington state liquor control board shall have the power and it shall be its duty to classify licensed premises or portions of licensed premises as off-limits to persons under the age of twenty-one years of age. AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

Help Prevent Underage Drinking

AACEA promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. During your alcohol server training you learn the importance of checking valid identification so that you do not serve alcohol to a minor. In Washington State it is illegal for minors to be in a bar. As a bartender in Washington it is your responsibility to ensure that you check the identification of everyone frequenting the establishment in which you work.

Underage drinking is illegal and destructive. The WSLCB has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the many excuses people, particularly some parents, use to perpetuate the myth that it's socially acceptable for those under 21 years old to drink beverage alcohol, whether it be liquor, wine, or beer. Adults must accept responsibility for preventing youth access to alcohol.

AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit 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!

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.

New Food Service Requirements for Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

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.

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

Reader Question: My Friend is Underage and Uses a Fake ID

Every once in a while we receive emails from concerned or curious readers. We do what we can to answer every question; AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Recently we received the following email:
"I have a friend who constantly uses her older sisters ID to get in to clubs - how can I help to put a stop to this? I am concerned, since I know that not properly checking IDs can lead to more serious issues."
Len says: As long as there is a drinking age minors are going to do what they can to get into places where the age limit is 21 years of age or older. In other words, they want to go clubbing -basically, what your friend is doing. You can let her know that by using another person's ID she could be charged with a felony for identity theft, she can also be charged criminally for being under age in an establishment licensed for 21 years of age as well as be charged for a Minor In Posession. Let her know the consequences of her actions may even result in a server or bartender being charged criminally and sued in a civil case. Tell the older sister that she too can be charged with the same, if it is proven that she loaned her ID to her sister. If you know where she is going, let that bar know she is underage. Hope this helps, -Len A note for the bartenders: during your alcohol server training you learn the importance of checking valid identification so that you do not serve alcohol to a minor. In Washington State it is illegal for minors to be in a bar. As a bartender in Washington it is your responsibility to ensure that you check the identification of everyone frequenting the establishment in which you work. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

Rethink that Holiday Drink

With the holiday season in full swing, we've been to more than one holiday party featuring alcohol. At AACEA, we love a good holiday party just as much as the next – but we want to emphasize how important it is to have a safe holiday season. AACEA’s certified bartenders gain valuable experience like cutting off inebriated customers at our mandatory alcohol server training classes. We provide online alcohol server training, while promoting responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your servers permit, visit www.aacea.com.

UC Davis reports that one of the unfortunate consequences of the holiday season is a sharp increase in alcohol-related accidents and deaths. "Many partygoers don't drink often, leaving them with low tolerance and more vulnerability to alcohol's effects. At the other extreme are problem drinkers who find plenty of social occasions to drink and may feel less inhibited at parties where alcohol is liberally served," their report says.

Statistics show that during Christmas and New Year’s, 2-3 times more people die in alcohol-related crashes than during comparable periods the rest of the year. 40% of traffic fatalities during these holidays involve a driver who is alcohol-impaired, compared to 28% for the rest of December.

What many drinkers don't realize is that the effects of alcohol on critical motor skills happen LONG before the effects of intoxication are visible. The sedative effects of alcohol can also become a problem - from lack of focus to nodding off at the wheel. Driving at night only increases this effect. Driving abilities may even be impaired the next day, when any alcohol remaining in the system, or the headache and disorientation associated with hangovers, contributes to feelings of sluggishness, even though the person no longer feels drunk.

The biggest issue many drinkers forget is that the only sobriety cure is time. Because people are so different, it is difficult to give specific advice about drinking, but certain facts are clear—there’s no way to speed up the brain’s recovery from alcohol and no way to make good decisions when you are drinking too much, too fast.

This holiday season, be responsible with alcohol. If you drink, pace yourself. Have “drink spacers”—make every other drink a nonalcoholic one. Know what constitutes a standard drink and have no more than one per hour. Remember that a designated driver is someone who hasn’t had any alcohol, not simply the person in your group who drank the least.

Our mandatory alcohol server training teaches alcohol servers how much alcohol constitutes a drink, how to spot inebriated customers, and how to diffuse customers who've had too much. AACEA is also committed to ensuring everyone has a safe holiday season by reminding you to drink responsibly. Happy Holidays from AACEA!

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