Always Check ID! 3 Reno Businesses Fail Alcohol Compliance Check

pub crawlImagine this: you are serving beverages to customers, just like any other day. A younger couple visits your establishment and orders two pints of beer. You size them up and they seem sober and confident, but they look like they might be a little young. Think fast – what do you do? Ask to see I.D., or make the sale and send them on their way? If you chose option number two, you would have failed the test.

This past Saturday three businesses were cited for serving minors. The Reno area’s Regional Street Enforcement Team 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 22 area businesses. This time around, three 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.

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?

Resources

With College Students Returning to Campus for the Fall Semester, Be Extra Vigilant in Checking ID’s

teen drinkingUnderage drinking is a serious concern in Nevada, and police agencies across the state are working to remind retailers, alcohol servers, and teens that if they do not abide by the laws, they will face consequences. Students are returning to classes for the Fall semester. Many young adults are moving in to dorms and living on their own for the first time. For many, that means a new sense of freedom.

Many students will be busy adjusting to their new schedules, making new friends, and in many cases, partying around and off campus.  A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicates that almost 38% of young adults Nevada have engaged in binge drinking (SAMHSA). If you work selling or serving alcoholic beverages, be on the lookout for underage drinkers, and make sure to always check for valid identification. Additionally, remember to keep a close eye on patrons and make sure no one is over-served. Even adults ages 21 and over need to be monitored closely to keep things safe. For more tips on stopping underage drinkers, read our blog post, “A Dangerous Cocktail –Teen Drinking.”

Police are stepping up their patrols around the state. Don’t forget, alcohol education in mandatory in both Clark and Washoe counties. In addition to online and classes in Las Vegas, TAM® of Nevada is able to conduct alcohol awareness online course proctoring in Reno, and offers courses for individuals once a month in Mesquite.

Always Check ID! Five Reno Businesses Fail Alcohol Compliance Check At Santa Pub Crawl Event

pub crawlImagine 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?

Sources

17th Annual Santa Crawl Hits Downtown Reno – KTNV

‘Tis the Season – Safe Beverage Service at Holiday Gatherings

holida partyIt’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!