Imagine this: you are working a busy special event at your bar, serving beverages to customers. A young man walks up to the bar and orders a pint of beer. You size him up. He seems sober, confident, and greets you with a smile. But, he does look like he might be a little young. You wonder if the bouncer at the door checked his I.D. Think fast – what do you do? Ask to see I.D. to confirm his age, or make the sale and send him back to his table with a pint? If you chose option number two, you would have failed the test.
This past Saturday marked Reno’s 17th annual Santa Pub Crawl event. While a festive and fun occasion for thousands of participants. Local law enforcement were working to help keep things safe. Five area businesses were cited for serving alcohol to minors. The Reno area’s Regional Street Enforcement Team, comprised of area police departments, conducts regular alcohol compliance and TAM Card checks. On Saturday, the Team sent four 18-20 year-old volunteers out to attempt alcohol purchases at 51 area businesses. This time around, five of those businesses made sales to the minors. These volunteers were given instructions to show their actual state-issued I.D. if they were asked for it, clearly identifying them as underage, according to authorities.
The penalties can be severe. In Nevada, serving alcohol to a minor and allowing a minor into a bar are misdemeanors, with a pre-designated fine of $500. Now, think about your training. Would you pass an alcohol compliance check? Here are some tips for keeping things safe and legal:
- Get your mandatory TAM® Card and alcohol awareness training. TAM® will train you on how to correctly check identification and how to spot fake, borrowed, or altered ID. Police officers may ask to see your alcohol awareness card during an alcohol compliance check, so it is important to be prepared.
- Check ID very carefully, and look for any inconsistencies. Watch for anyone who seems either nervous, or over confident. When checking the birth date of a customer, don’t rely only on the birth year alone to confirm someone is of legal drinking age. Minors may try to pull a fast one on busy or distracted workers by purchasing alcohol just a few months or weeks shy of their 21st birthdays. As evidenced by this recent operation, doing the math correctly is very important.
- Be vigilant about third party sales. If you see a third party (like an adult, who was approached by a minor in the parking lot) attempt to purchase alcohol for a person under 21, you have a responsibility to take steps to curtail the activity. Retailers have the right to refuse any sale when a reasonable person in their position would conclude that the adult is purchasing on behalf of an underage person. Not only do TAM Card holders have a legal and ethical responsibility not to make sales to intoxicated persons and minors; they must also be vigilant in preventing sales to other people who are clearly purchasing alcohol for minors.
Every establishment needs policies to prevent alcohol sales to minors, and to protect themselves from liability, and the public from harm. Tell us in the Comments below – how else do you think service workers can help curb teen drinking?
17th Annual Santa Crawl Hits Downtown Reno – KTNV
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! For the hospitality industry, that means a huge uptick in the number of festive celebrations and company holiday parties. Whether you’re a hospitality professional looking at a reservation book full of large parties, or an HR professional planning a company event, there are a few points to remember for keeping things holly, jolly, and safe.
For HR professionals and businesses – Keep in mind that company parties are considered an extension of the workplace. It is the responsibility of the company to set guidelines. This is why many companies choose to limit the number of alcoholic beverages served to each individual. If you’re planning an on-site or off-site holiday party, remember that in Clark County all servers and sellers of alcoholic beverages must complete an alcohol awareness training course and carry a valid TAM® Card. Yes, this rule also applies for special events. Make sure you’re working with a restaurant or caterer which meets this requirement.
Companies can go the extra mile to make sure their attendees have a great time, but also stay safe. Consider strategies like issuing a set number of drink tickets per person, to prevent over-indulging. Close down the bar an hour or two before the party ends and offer snacks and non-alcoholic beverages instead. One of the most popular extras to offer attendees is complimentary cab service so that everyone makes it home safe.
For service professionals – Remember to use the Techniques of Alcohol Management® with holiday parties and all service interactions. You have an obligation to serve responsibly. And remember, you should always ask to see identification. Just because a patron may be at a special event (company holiday party, wedding) that does not relieve a server from checking for photo I.D.
Follow procedure to card anyone who appears to be 30 years of age or younger. It is better to be safe than sorry. It helps prevent sales to minors, protects against liability, and keeps the pubic safe from harm. The atmosphere at holiday special events can remain light and fun, while emphasizing safety.
TAM of Nevada® wishes all of our students and friends a safe and happy holiday season!
Summer is winding down to a close in Las Vegas. What better way to usher in the Fall than with a celebration of all things bacon and beer? As one of the fastest growing food and beverage festivals across the country, Las Vegas will host the Bacon and Beer Classic on October 14. With dozens of bacon-based dishes, 100+ craft beers, and fun and games for all, this event promises to be a great time. Volunteers and employees will be on site at the festival to help serve and sell alcoholic beverages to festival attendees. If you’re planning to work this event, make sure you are prepared. Alcohol awareness cards are required for anyone selling or serving alcoholic beverages for any length of time, including special one-time events and festivals… and the TAM® Card is the number one choice of employers in Las Vegas.
We’re offering a special discount code for anyone who needs to get their TAM Card for the Bacon and Beer Classic Festival. Use promo code BACON17 for 10% off your alcohol awareness training and TAM Card when you register at www.tamnevada.com. Whether you prefer to complete your course online or in our classroom, we’ve got you covered.
To register for a class and get your TAM Card, visit our website today.
Discount expires: 10/31/17
I.D. checking is one of the most important jobs of a hospitality professional. Checking I.D. keeps patrons safe, and it keeps things legal. Here at the TAM of Nevada office, we often get questions from students about which documents can be used as valid forms of identification for the purpose of selling alcohol. In a town like Las Vegas, full of tourists from around the world, with varying forms of I.D., do you know what you can accept?
Valid identification must be government-issued, contain the person’s photo, contain their birth date, and not be expired. Depending on the type of I.D. being presented, and which state or country it is issued from, it may also contain other information such as signature, mailing address, or gender. Nevada driver licenses, for example, also contain a signature.
Accepted forms of I.D. include:
- Driver License or State Identification Card – These are the most commons forms of I.D. that hospitality professionals will be presented with.
- Military ID – You may also see these, particularly around military bases.
- Passport or Immigration Card – A passport is another common form of identification, particularly in a tourist town such as Las Vegas. Likewise, a Green Card (permanent resident card) is also acceptable I.D.
Forms of I.D. that are NOT acceptable for making alcohol sales include:
- Concealed Firearm Permit – While a concealed weapon permit is a form of state-issued identification, it is not an acceptable identification for serving or selling alcohol. According to Nevada law at NRS 202.3653 – 202.369, Concealed Firearm Permits are valid for a period of 5 years and can be renewed for additional 5 year periods. A permit holder must carry the permit together with proper identification whenever they are in actual possession of the concealed firearm(s). For I.D. checking purposes, the permit is only good when you are also carrying another acceptable form of identification, so the point is moot for alcohol sales. A gun permit holder must also have another form of identification on their person. If you are presented with a concealed firearm permit to check I.D., simply ask to see their driver license or other form of identification.
- Driver’s Authorization Card (DAC) – In Nevada, a Driver’s Authorization Card looks like a lot like driver’s license, but is not valid for serving alcohol, entering facilities where I.D. is required, or boarding an airplane.
- Student ID, TAM® Card, and other non-government issued Photo I.D. – While a valid TAM® Card includes a photo of the card holder, that’s not enough to confirm identification. The same holds for student I.D.s and similar forms of membership identification.
When in doubt or if you have questions about I.D. checking, speak with your supervisor and review company policy for acceptable forms of identification. Your establishment may have an identification guide like the I.D. Checking Guide for you to use – this will show you what to look for on various forms of I.D. to confirm authenticity. Additionally, your TAM® alcohol awareness class will teach you how to spot valid and bogus identification. For more information, visit our blog post on I.D. checking.
Questions or feedback? Head to the Comments section below and let us know about your I.D. checking experiences!