Gillette looks the improve bar worker training

Associated Press Published: November 18, 2012
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The training takes four to five hours to complete and the certification is valid for three years. The training is put on by the council and the police department and is free for businesses.

The businesses only are responsible for the time their employees spend at the training.

The change in the ordinance would result in a mandatory responsible alcohol service training for everyone within the city limits that serves alcohol in a business setting. It is hoped that it would help cut the number of alcohol-related violations, including over serving people.

"(Over service) is one of those that are very hard to prove, very hard to ticket," said Spring Wilkins, community prevention professional and one of the coordinators for the Substance Abuse Advisory Council. "The evidence and the research behind the responsible service training is that it helps bartenders and service staff prevent over service that has a trickledown effect in terms of drinking and driving. Another one is serving (alcohol) to minors. We want to take that down. The compliance checks are sort of the snapshot of those violations that there are things like that going on all the time."

Don Edwards, manager at Eastside bar, said the measure would be another effort to control local bars because they tend to get negative reputation just by being bars. But, he added, all his employees receive alcohol service training.

Local bars and eateries and liquor stores have been open to collaborating with the police and the city on the issue of alcohol service training, Wasson said.

"They have been very open to working with us and open to ideas to improve responsible service. I don't think that anyone would say that education is a bad thing. The businesses have been very good to work with. They are aware of their responsibilities and education helps us get there," he added.

Wilkins doesn't believe that local businesses will oppose the changes.

"It doesn't seem to have been an issue with restaurants. For the past year, they have been required to do that and we haven't heard any negative feedback about the business owners being terribly inconvenienced. So I'm hoping that that would be similar," she said.

Councilwoman Louise Carter-King said it was part of the deal when the City Council decided to lower the age to 18 for servers

"I don't think liquor dealers will have any problem with it because I believe they already do it," she said. "I think all the way around they'd rather be as careful as they can without having to risk either their license or their insurance. I believe it's in their best interest to do this."

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Information from: The Gillette (Wyo.) News Record, http://www.gillettenewsrecord.com



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