All bartenders and servers will be required to complete a training course before they can serve alcohol in South Carolina under legislation that is headed for the state Senate floor.
The proposal which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday would require servers be trained on how to recognize problem drinkers and the potential liability their establishments face if that individual later gets into a DUI-related crash. The legislation is nicknamed “Alli’s Law” after an Upstate teen killed in a drunk driving collision.
Right now, South Carolina only makes training mandatory if the business is cited for alcohol violations. However, the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association’s director John Durst has said most bars already require the training for their servers.
“The people that aren’t doing this already are the people this is going to hurt,” said the bill’s co-sponsor State Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Georgetown, said.
The measure passed 17-2, after opponents raised concerns about whether the bill is necessary or if restaurants and bars should simply require the training out of their own best interests.
“Are we trying to regulate ourselves into a situation where we make it harder for people to transact business,” said State Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington. “I’m starting to sound like I’m on the other side now,” he said in a joking reference to Republicans’ usual skepticism for tougher business regulations.
Under the bill, South Carolina’s Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services would contract with a provider that would offer the “Alcohol Server Certificate” courses. The courses could not cost more than $50 per individual.