Always Check ID! 12 Reno Businesses Fail Alcohol Compliance Check

wine barImagine this: you are serving beverages to customers, just like any other day. A younger couple visits your establishment and orders two glasses of chardonnay. 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 marked Reno’s Wine Walk event, and twelve businesses were cited for serving 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, twelve 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?

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Five Reno Businesses Fail Alcohol Compliance Check

third party sales dangersThis past Saturday marked Reno’s Wine Walk event, and several businesses were cited for serving 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 two 19 year-old volunteers out to attempt alcohol purchases at twelve area businesses. This time around, five of the twelve businesses made sales to the minors.

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. 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.
  • A hole punched into a driver license renders it invalid for identification purposes. The Nevada DMV may hole-punch driver licenses and identification cards 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, so this is just a temporary situation for license holders. The DMV will issue a temporary paper document with information matching the punched-out driver license. This document 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. Cautious businesses might want to request another form of valid identification such as a passport or military ID.

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Is Your Staff in Need of Alcohol Awareness Training? TAM® of Nevada is Now Offering Onsite Classes and Proctoring for Reno/Sparks Area Businesses

TAM® of Nevada is expanding! In addition to our Training Center in Las Vegas, we’re happy to announce we’ll now be offering classes and proctoring for students and on-site solutions for businesses in the Reno/Sparks area.

Employers have a duty to ensure that all of their employees are properly trained in responsible alcohol beverage service prior to their start of work. Want to take the hassle out of staying on top of those training requirements? TAM® of Nevada offers special onsite alcohol awareness classes for groups and companies, and we’ll make sure your staff is trained the right way. Want to know if our training solutions might be right for your company?

  1. Do you have dozens or hundreds of employees who are working day, afternoon and evening shifts? With employees working a variety of different schedules, you can ensure that everyone receives convenient training on-site at your location at convenient times. TAM® is able to offer alcohol awareness training for businesses scheduled on-site at their work locations several times throughout the year. With this option, you can count on a solution that works for your current employees, and ensures any new hires receive the same great training.
  2. We offer options that have your staff taught with one uniform training program to meet all state requirements. When your employees receive training at your Washoe County business, we can tailor a program to meet your needs. TAM’s capable instructors are available to hold regular classes and proctor exams at your facility, at your convenience. For example, we recently launched alcohol awareness classes for Smith’s® employees in Mesquite, NV, and are preparing to provide required training for over 100 students on-site.
  3. With enforcement efforts on the rise, why risk having trouble with something like alcohol awareness training? Local police agencies in Nevada have been increasing their decoy operations and busting establishments and their employees for selling alcohol to minors. Additionally, if someone is busted serving alcohol to a minor, one of the first things law enforcement may do is check their alcohol awareness card to verify that it is valid. Remember, not all alcohol awareness training is created equal. We can evaluate your staff’s current status to make sure everyone is in compliance and holds a valid alcohol education card. Check out our recent blog post, “Over Half of Reno Bars Visited in Alcohol Compliance Check Busted for Serving Minors. Are You Checking for I.D.?” for additional details on a recent decoy operation.

TAM® of Nevada has been tailoring training to meet corporate client needs since its inception. Please contact us today to learn more or to arrange training for your facility.

© 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.

Resources

Did Police Play the Grinch with an Alcohol Sting During Saturday’s Santa Pub Crawl in Reno?

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada