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Every 15 Minutes: Henderson Area School is Showcasing Alcohol Awareness Education with a Powerful Program

drunk-drivingApril is Alcohol Awareness Month, and that is followed closely by Prom and Graduation season. At a time when teenagers are more likely than ever to be tempted with chances to participate in underage drinking, a local area high school has chosen to send a powerful message to their students with the Every 15 Minutes program. Every 15 minutes, a driver, passenger, or an innocent bystander dies from an alcohol-related car crash. Every weekend, a teenager dies in a car crash and half of those accidents involve alcohol. This message about the dangers of drinking and driving was brought to local teens in a unique way.

Late last week, local Henderson Liberty High School juniors and seniors learned a tough lesson about the dangers of driving while impaired. Participants were guided through a powerful two-day event complete with student and parent involvement, guest speakers, and even a chance to tour what looked like an active fatal accident scene involving friends and peers.

By giving teens a close-up look at the real and tragic consequences of driving while impaired, there is hope that students will take the lessons to heart and make safe choices for themselves in the future. The Henderson Police Department has partnered with other area agencies since 2001 to create this unique learning experience for over 40,000 Henderson teens.

Teens often have feelings of invincibility about dangerous choices and feel like nothing bad could possibly happen to them. By launching an interactive program to demonstrate the dangers of what could happen to them and other teens like them, it drives the point home.

As a TAM® Card holder or hospitality worker, are you doing all you can to help bring the number of drunk-driving related accidents even lower?

Remember to remain vigilant:

  • Display signage in your store or bar announcing that purchasers of alcohol will be carded and ALWAYS check identification carefully, especially for anyone who appears to be under the age of 30.
  • Report any suspicious behavior or activity among patrons to your supervisor or manager.
  • Be an example to others by promoting safe beverage policies and keep up-to-date with your TAM® training.

Do you think the Every Fifteen Minutes program is a useful tool in reducing teen drinking and driving?


© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada


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Announcing Our Quarterly Customer Satisfaction Survey Winner

Have you recently completed a TAM® class with us? Let us know about it! We are always happy to hear from our customers about their experiences with our alcohol awareness training program. If you’ve completed your alcohol awareness training with us in the past, you know that at the conclusion of the course we invite students to complete a short survey about their experience with TAM® of Nevada. And, as a token of thanks for their participation, we enter survey respondents into a drawing for a $100 Amazon.com gift card prize.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our students for their survey comments and feedback. We’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mari S., the most recent winner of our quarterly drawing. If you’ve recently completed your TAM® course and haven’t yet completed the customer satisfaction survey, we invite you to visit us on Facebook to access the survey and submit your responses. While you are there, write on our Wall! Let us know your favorite part of the training, what you learned, or ask us any questions you might have.

Our customer satisfaction survey is available to both online and classroom students. Thank you again to all of our customers for your patronage and helpful responses. Remember to visit us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.

© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Meet Our Instructors: Ed Prinz

ed_prinzWelcome back for the next in our “Meet Our Instructors” series of blog posts introducing our amazing set of teachers. This week, meet Mr. Ed Prinz. Ed is a veteran Certified TAM® Instructor and has been teaching TAM® in the Las Vegas community for over 20 years.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ed moved to Las Vegas in 1977 and purchased the first of three bars/lounges, which he owned and operated. Ed worked in the title insurance industry for thirty years as the marketing vice president for Stewart Title Co. and First American Title.

When he’s not teaching at the TAM® office, Ed’s hobbies include golfing, hunting, fishing, photography, and reading spy and adventure novels. His favorite authors are Daniel Silva, Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, and Clive Cussler.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a TAM® Card holder?

Ed: Use your common sense!

What’s your favorite thing about living and working in Las Vegas?

Ed: The people are really great!

If you’d like to attend a TAM® Class taught by Ed, you can register on our website. Ed’s teaching schedule varies by week, but you can call or e-mail us for his availability. Or, visit us for one of our regularly scheduled classes with any of our talented instructors.

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Alcoholic Beverage Service at Special Events – Are You Following the Law?

iStock_000010753481XSmallContrary to popular belief, Alcohol Awareness Cards ARE required for anyone selling or serving alcoholic beverages for any length of time, including special one-time events and the TAM® Card is the one you should have. We often receive calls asking if TAM Cards are needed for individuals who will be working to sell or serve alcoholic beverages for festivals, special weekend events, and similar situations. Even if you will only be working in this type of position for a short period of time, an Alcohol Awareness Card is still mandatory.

Taking it a step further, new and veteran TAM® Card holders alike should know that ID Checking, even at special events, is a huge responsibility. Room service, banquets, conventions, race tracks, quinceañeras, weddings, festivals, company picnics and celebrations, concession stands, and the list goes on! ID Checking at special events is absolutely imperative – are you following the letter of the law?

A recent news story out of Reno concerns ID checking at a local “wine walk” festival. An alarming 84% of businesses failed alcohol compliance checks during the event (KOLO). A common practice at many festivals and special events, such as this one, is to check for participant ID during event registration. The participant may receive a special arm band, badge, stamp, beverage glass, or other item that identifies them as a registered participant of legal drinking age. However, an event wristband does not relieve servers from verifying a customer is of age.

In the case of the recent Reno wine walk, purchase of a wristband and special wine glass was used to identify participants and allow them to sample wine from a variety of area restaurants. In cases such as this, it would be very easy for one individual of legal drinking age to purchase a wristband, but then give the wristband to an underage drinker. This scenario illustrates why it is important to ALWAYS check identification and should serve as a reminder that just because a participant may have a special event pass, that does not relieve the server from checking for photo ID.

The same holds true for special events such as weddings and other banquet events. Even if a wedding reception is “adults only”, a bartender should follow procedure to card anyone who appears to be 30 years of age or younger. It is better to be safe than sorry, and helps to keep underage guests safe.

For more information on TAM® Card Requirements, refer to our blog post, “Need a TAM® Card for the Busy Summer Season? A Rundown on Requirements.” Remember, remain vigilant, and always practice the Techniques of Alcohol Management in order to provide responsible beverage service. What other advice would you give regarding alcoholic beverage service during special events?


84% of Businesses Fail Underage Alcohol Compliance Check During Wine Walk – Kolo 8 News Now

© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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March Madness is Here. Are You Ready for the Crowds?

march mardnessMarch Madness officially kicks off this Thursday and is one of the biggest draws of the year in Las Vegas. Why not make the most of being on center stage to show visitors and locals alike all that Vegas has to offer? Taxi drivers, restaurants, and shops will all be working hard to accommodate the influx of visitors and hotel room prices have skyrocketed for this weekend. Establishments all over town are preparing to face huge crowds of patrons looking for viewing parties, food, drink, quality service, and a good time.

If you’re planning to work during the course of the event, it presents a great opportunity to make extra tip money and wow your guests at the same time. Are you looking for ways to net bigger sales and tips? There are a few things that can set you apart from the competition:

  1. Special events such as March madness are a great opportunity to try special menu items, viewing parties or themed promotions. Why not offer a specially-priced cocktail menu to entice your guests? Your bartenders could create signature team-themed cocktails or sports-themed menu items to get your guests in the celebratory mood and trying something new. Looking for even more inspiration from other local events happening around town? Check out Vegas Chatter’s guide to March Madness celebrations.
  2. Make suggestions to your guests for visiting popular spots in Las Vegas. As a local, you can capitalize on your knowledge of what is going on in and around town and pass on suggestions to your guests on how to fill their time in between games. Guests will appreciate the insider scoop and ability to make recommendations on after-parties, places where locals like the hang out, and off the beaten path sites to visit. You may also want to suggest use of the Las Vegas monorail, trolleys, free trams, and free shuttles. With the huge crowds expected, having a variety of options to get around will be helpful.
  3. Always practice safe alcohol sales and service. The lessons you learn in your TAM® course will help you to serve responsibly. A well-educated server is familiar with alcohol’s effects on the body and can recognize the dangerous signs of over-intoxication. Watch how much you are serving and how often. You can help to cut down on the number of over-intoxicated individuals who ruin the atmosphere for others, or potentially harm themselves. Also, call a cab for any inebriated drivers on your premises. Keeping them off the road helps keep us all safe.

How are you planning to make the most of the March Madness crowds, and what team are YOU rooting for?


Vegas Chatter’s Guide To March Madness Parties – Vegas Chatter

© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Meet Our Instructors: Sherry Cummings

Sherry_CummingsYou can tell a lot about a company by the people that work there, and here at TAM® of Nevada we have an amazing set of knowledgeable, professional, and fun instructors. Whether you complete your TAM® training online or in the classroom, you can expect to meet some of our staff members. We’d like to introduce you to our staff in a new blog segment: Meet Our Instructors. I had the opportunity to interview each of our instructors, and this is a great bunch.

Let’s kick off this week by getting to know our General Manager and TAM Instructor, Sherry Cummings. Originally from New Jersey, Sherry has lived and traveled extensively throughout the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Hotel marketing in Mexico led her to owning multiple restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. Sherry’s later tenure as Food & Beverage Manager at Pegasus, a Mobile Four Star dining room inspired her to explore and hone her service skills, food knowledge and wine expertise.

The Court of Master Sommeliers certified Sherry and she continues to attend sommelier seminars and training programs. Sherry attended the Sterling School of Hospitality and was also certified by London’s Wine & Spirit Trust.

Later, Sherry worked at the Rio Hotel & Casino, Gatsby’s at the MGM and Southern Wine and Spirits in a variety of roles alongside wine directors, sommeliers and chefs up and down the strip! Now, Sherry brings her unique experience to the classroom and is in a fantastic position to teach responsible beverage service based on real-world examples.

If you’d like to attend a TAM Class taught by Sherry, register for a class on our website. The schedule varies by week, but you can normally find Sherry teaching students on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2:00pm.

© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Four Loko Will Now Label Beverages with “Alcohol Facts”

The ban on caffeinated alcoholic beverages, also called alcopop, was one of the biggest stories in the beverage service and sales industry in 2010. Popular beverages such as Four Loko were called dangerous, a binge in a can, and worse. The Food and Drug Administration declared alcoholic energy drinks to be a public health concern and concluded that caffeine added to malt alcoholic beverages was an unsafe food additive (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). Four Loko removed the caffeine from their beverages to comply with new regulations. Now, the FTC has reached a settlement with Phusion Products, the makers of Four Loko, to take it a step further.

In an effort keep drinkers safe and well informed about how much alcohol they are consuming, cans of Four Loko will now display an “Alcohol Facts” label, similar to a nutritional label, to make it clear they pack a potent punch.

These facts will include the container size, percentage alcohol by volume, number of servings in the container and serving size in fluid ounces (NPR). Additionally, all cans of Four Loko containing more than two-and-a-half servings will also have to be re-sealable. The intent is to help consumers realize that they should not consume the entire can in one sitting. A can of Four Loko contains up to 12% alcohol, and a 23.5 ounce can is equivalent to about four or five standard beers (San Francisco Chronicle). Binge drinking means drinking so much within about 2 hours that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels reach 0.08g/dL. For women, this usually occurs after about 4 drinks, and for men, after about 5. (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

This should serve as a reminder to all beverage service professionals to always serve responsibly. Alcopops with colorful packaging and fruity flavors are especially popular with teen drinkers, so servers and sellers should be extra vigilant in checking identification and observing guests.


© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Filed under Alcohol Awareness, ID Checking