Senate members suggest the implementation of a bill that would require alcohol servers in South Carolina to go through mandatory training programs is not likely.
Senate members and the public discussed Bill 428: Alli’s Law Thursday morning. The bill would require mandatory training for any persons who serve or sell alcoholic beverages on premises that are licensed or permitted to sell the beverages for on or off premise consumption. All managers of the business would also be required to complete the same training. Each person trained would then receive a server permit and be required to keep copies of it on the premises.
Currently establishment managers or persons that serve alcohol are not required to go through any type of training by the state. All alcohol training is done through in-house programs or voluntary enrollment is state training programs. Training only becomes mandatory once an establishment is cited for violating the current alcohol serving laws.
Alli’s law mandates that the alcoholic beverage training program offered by the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) would include a review of state laws and regulations pertaining to: the sale and service of alcoholic beverages, the permitting and licensing of alcoholic beverages, impaired driving, carrying a concealed weapon into a business that sells alcohol, the effect alcohol has on the body and human behavior, methods of recognizing problem drinkers, methods of identifying and refusing alcohol to an underage or intoxicated persons and methods of properly and effectively checking identification of an individual.
A representative from DAODAS said while the department supports the intent of the bill the implementation of it would be too costly. Currently DAODAS awards about 2,200 training completion certificates annually and if the bill were to be enacted that number would likely quadruple. DAODAS indicated they do not currently have the resources to carry out services for those many participants but is willing to partner with other departments to come to a plan where implementation could be feasible.
John Durst, President of the South Carolina Restaurant and Dining Association agreed that the implementation of the bill could be costly. Durst said restaurants who already pay mandatory fees may be down trotted by the extra expenses of enrolling all of its servers in a training programs. Durst fears that this will negatively affect businesses that serve alcoholic beverages and tourism in South Carolina.
Ashley Badaferd a representative of Behavioral Health Services Association of South Carolina (BHSA) said though she understands the implications of the proposed legislature it’s far more important to be proactive than reactive when it comes to alcohol education.
“We would like to offer our support of Alli’s law, because we feel educated servers is paramount to the prevention of sales to underage youth, refusing service to intoxicated patrons and informing merchants on how to intervene effectively during difficult situations,” said Badaferd.
Sen. Luke Rankin, closed the meeting by ruling that there were too many issues that needed to be addressed to move the legislation forward.
“Can we make this happen today? Doubtful. But there may be a house vehicle we can play with and this conversation is a good starting point,” said Rankin.
House members suggest the implementation of a bill that would require alcohol servers in South Carolina to go through mandatory training programs is “doubtful.” The public and Senate members discussed Bill 428: Alli’s Law Thursday morning. The bill would require mandatory training for any persons who serve or sell alcoholic beverages.
Ashley Badaferd a representative of Behavioral Health Services Association of South Carolina (BHSA) said it’s important to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to alcohol education.