A Reminder about Responsible Beverage Service

The City of Reno Has Suspended Alcohol Licenses for Several Businesses for Selling Alcohol to Minors.

In an effort to stop the sale of alcohol to minors in the Reno area, the City of Reno and the Reno Police Department have worked together to suspend liquor licenses for sixteen area businesses after conducting compliance checks and decoy operations (KTNV). The Reno Police Department’s Street Enforcement Team routinely conducts decoy operations and checks for alcohol awareness cards, and these suspensions are an extension of the work they are doing to protect local teens, and the rest of the community. These events should serve as a reminder to hospitality professionals and service workers that it is imperative to always check identification when serving or selling alcoholic beverages. Discussion with some of our TAM® Students about this news has resulted in some great reminders that we’d like to pass on to others regarding ID checking.

  • Become TAM® certified and make sure that your alcohol awareness training is up to date. TAM® will train you on how to correctly check identification and how to spot fake, borrowed, or altered ID. Also remember that TAM® Cards expire after four years, contact TAM® of Nevada if you need to renew your training. Officials may ask to see your alcohol awareness card during an alcohol compliance check.
  • Check ID closely – When checking the birth date of a customer, don’t rely only on the birth year to confirm someone is of legal drinking age. Also check the birth day and month on a license to guarantee you are serving legally! Minors may try to pull a fast one on busy or distracted service workers by purchasing alcohol just short of their 21st birthdays. For more tips on ID checking, visit our blog post, “Are Minors Using Fake IDs and Sneaking Past You?
  • A hole punched into a driver license renders it invalid for identification purposes. As explained by a representative at the DMV Office, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles may hole-punch driver licenses and identification cards in order to make them easily identifiable as invalidated. This can occur when someone renews their license, transfers an out-of-state license, or a variety of other scenarios. The DMV will mail the new license to the individual within 10 working days, so this is just a temporary situation for license holders. When an identification card is invalidated at the time of license renewal, the DMV will issue a temporary paper document with information matching the punched-out driver license. Please note, the interim document for a driver license or an ID card only serves as a confirmation that the application is pending; it is not a form of identification (Nevada DMV). Check with your employer for company policy on acceptable ID policy. Each business must decide if the interim document, along with an invalidated driver license or ID card, will be accepted for cashing checks, buying liquor, and other transactions (Nevada DMV). In cases such as this, establishments may wish to err on the side of caution and request another form of valid identification such as a passport or military ID.

What are some tricks that you’ve seen used by fake ID holders? How else do you think service workers can help curb teen drinking?


© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada


Over Half of Reno Bars Visited in Alcohol Compliance Check Busted for Serving Minors. Are You Checking for I.D.?

Sellers and servers of alcohol in Washoe and Clark counties are required to complete alcohol education and obtain an alcohol awareness card prior to the start of work. If an undercover officer came to your place of employment today to check the status of alcohol awareness card holders, would you be in compliance? If a younger patron came into your establishment and ordered a drink, would you ask to see their identification? This past Saturday Reno Police visited 32 establishments around Reno, Nevada and of those visited, 18 were busted for serving alcoholic beverages to minors in a decoy operation (Reno Gazette Journal). This serves as a reminder to TAM® Card holders to always ask to see I.D. for anyone who appears to be 35 years old or younger, and to follow company procedure and local laws for safe beverage service.

Establishments need to be diligent in requiring staff to check ID’s when making alcohol sales. Every establishment needs policies and procedures to prevent underage persons from obtaining alcohol, and to protect themselves from liability, and the public from harm. Decoy operations are not just used to catch those selling alcohol to minors, they can also be used to check the validity of your alcohol education card and whether it is expired.

Remember, selling alcohol to a minor is a very serious offense. TAM® of Nevada provides alcohol awareness training which covers all aspects of furnishing alcohol to a minor, and provides training on spotting fake IDs. Contact us today to sign up for online or classroom-based alcohol awareness training. Service professionals must be aware of the facts and dangers of teenage drinking and diligent about checking identification.

Additionally, if you are busted serving alcohol to a minor, one of the first things law enforcement and your employer may do is look at your alcohol education card. Not all training is created equal; completing your alcohol awareness course with TAM® of Nevada shows you’re serious about obtaining the best alcohol education possible.

Don’t put yourself at risk, always ask for identification, and get educated on effective ways to help stop teen drinking.


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© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada