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!
Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our customers and friends! Please see below for our holiday office hours. The online TAM course is still available 24/7 at www.tamnevda.com!
Congratulations to Alondra E. of Las Vegas, winner of our most recent quarterly gift card giveaway!
Have you recently finished an Alcohol Awareness course or a Nevada Marijuana Compliance course with TAM of Nevada? If so, we’d like to hear from you! After finishing one of our courses, students are invited to participate in a short online survey. As a token of thanks for participation, we enter survey respondents into a quarterly drawing for an Amazon.com gift card prize.
If you’ve recently completed a course with TAM and haven’t yet completed the customer satisfaction survey, we invite you to access the survey and submit your response before our next drawing. Let us know your favorite part of the training, what you’ve learned, your experiences with staff, or ask us any questions you might have.
Our customer satisfaction surveys are available to both online and classroom students. Thank you again to all of our customers for choosing TAM® of Nevada for your alcohol awareness cards and marijuana compliance training. Remember to visit us on TAM of Nevada on Facebook and keep the conversation going!