Can I See Your I.D? What You Can and Can’t Accept As Valid Identification

Nevada_DL_AdultI.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!

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Safe Beverage Service – Higher ABV Wines Require Special Consideration

Wine ABVIf you’ve taken your TAM® Card training, you know that all alcoholic beverages are not created equal. A standard serving size means 12 ounces of beer with 5% alcohol, 5 ounces of wine with 12% alcohol, and 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, which are 40% alcohol by volume. This calculation helps when you are observing your guests for increasing signs of intoxication. You can easily estimate how much alcohol they have consumed and act accordingly to keep things safe.

However, it is becoming increasingly common for wines to have a higher than standard amount of alcohol by volume (ABV). Maybe you’ve noticed it yourself when opening a bottle of wine for patrons, but the standard 12% ABV isn’t always the norm. As reported by Health 24, it’s not uncommon for many wines to now register at 14-15% ABV, which throws off calculation on a standard five ounce serving.

Additionally, as reported by FWx, a new study suggests the ABV listed on a wine label might not be correct. The study indicated that nearly 60% of the 100,000 bottles tested came back containing a higher percentage of alcohol than was listed on the label. The average overstatement was roughly 0.42%, which might not seem like a lot. But, it could still lead hospitality professionals and guests to underestimate the amount that has been consumed, and put them at risk.

With variations like this, it’s easy to see how patrons can easily consume more alcohol than they intended to, and much more quickly reach unintended levels of intoxication.

So what does this mean for you as a service professional?

  • Read the labels and be knowledgeable about alcohol levels in the products you offer. If you have a bottle of wine or a microbrew on the menu with high ABV, consider including the alcohol percentage on your menu. A server can also mention the higher than average alcohol content to any guests ordering that beverage. A simple, “Here’s your beer. Just so you are aware, this particular bottle has a 10% alcohol level, so this is about double the standard alcohol serving,” would be appropriate.
  • When serving and observing guests, don’t just consider a drink’s potency, consider the serving size. If you’re offering bottle service, it is very important to keep an eye on guests and keep a tally of how much they are consuming. And even if you are serving a standard 12% wine to a guest, if they are ordering a tasting sampler with three 3oz glasses, or a larger 7oz pour, then this is still delivering more alcohol than one standard single serving.

To learn more about safe beverage service and any warning signs to watch out for in guests, complete an alcohol awareness course with TAM® of Nevada.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month: Show Your Support for Safe Beverage Service by Obtaining Your TAM Card

Serve responsiblyApril is Alcohol Awareness Month. This is an opportunity to raise awareness about alcohol abuse and encourage people to make healthy, safe life choices. This month is also a time to highlight the role that servers and sellers have in protecting their communities. Good judgment and knowledge of the Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAM)® are crucial qualities in a service professional. Alcohol Awareness Month is an opportunity for server to showcase their training!

This month we encourage you to visit our website or our office to renew or obtain your TAM® Card. In addition to our regularly scheduled TAM® Classes available in Las Vegas six days a week, the TAM® course is also available online 24/7. Additional special offerings and scheduling events in April include:

  • TAM® Class and exam proctoring for online students will be available in Mesquite at the Virgin River Hotel Casino on Wednesday, April 16th at 8:00am. Proctoring for online students will be available at 11:15am. This event is repeated the third Wednesday of every month.
  • TAM® Spanish Class will be offered in Las Vegas on Thursday, April 17th at 9:00am. Walk-ins are welcome; please arrive by 8:30am to register for the class. This event is repeated the third Thursday of every month.
  •  Exam proctoring for online students will be available in Laughlin at the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce building in the Manpower office on Thursday, April 17th between the hours of 8:30am-12:00pm. This event is repeated every Thursday.
  • The TAM® Office in Las Vegas will be open for regular business hours 8:30am-5:00pm on Friday, April 18th (Good Friday). The office will be closed on Saturday, April 19th for the Easter weekend, and will reopen for regular business hours on Monday, April 21st at 8:30am. The online TAM® course will still be available to access over the holiday weekend.

We look forward to seeing you in April!

Restaurant Technology – Digital Restaurant Menus Appeal to Busy Customers

tablet ordering in restaurantIt’s considered rude to browse the web on your smart phone while seated at the dinner table, but in an increasingly tech-savvy world and competitive dining industry, restaurants are breaking their own rules. Some restaurants are looking for new ways to appeal to busy consumers, and to move as many happy customers in and out of their establishments in the most efficient way. As Mitch Lipka points out in his article, “Will digital restaurant menus get you to spend more?” one method is asking patrons to get more involved in the dining out experience by ordering or viewing menus on tablet devices such as the iPad®. We here at TAM® of Nevada really enjoyed this article and are interested to see if, and how, this technology will continue to grow, especially in the Las Vegas area.

The draw of digital menus includes the benefit of being able to offer more information about menu items without worrying about taking up too much real estate on a menu page. Diners are likely to spend more money and order additional items if they can see photos to go along with dish and cocktail descriptions. Additionally, there’s an opportunity to include allergen information, or even suggested wine pairings to go along with each dish.

Increasingly tech-savvy customers are seemingly open to the new trend. According to the National Restaurant Association, 41% of consumers surveyed said they have used a computer to view menus, order food or make reservations online in the last month. Additionally, 46% said that if offered they would use a smartphone to make a restaurant reservation or place an order at a touch-screen kiosk (National Restaurant Association).

Of course as with any new technology, digital menus and ordering also run the risk of becoming a passing fad. For another opinion on this new movement, check our Michael Austin’s article for the Chicago Sun-Times, “Pour Man: iPad wine lists let your fingers do the ordering.” Do you think moving away from paper menus and into digital menus will catch on and become mainstream? Only time will tell.

Have you seen these types of programs in use anywhere yet? What do you think about allowing customers to order off of digital menus: great idea or doomed to fail once the first drink is spilled on a device?

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