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New California law requires training for alcohol servers

A new law beginning next month will require Responsible Beverage Service training for anyone who serves at a location where alcohol is sold and consumed at over 56,000 businesses across the state, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The law takes effect July 1, and by the end of August every alcohol server and their managers must be trained under Assembly Bill 1221 and Assembly Bill 820, according to an ABC release. New hires must pass the exam and be certified 60 days from the first date of employment.

An alcohol server is defined as anyone that is employed at an ABC on-premises licensed establishment who is responsible for checking identifications, taking customer orders and pouring or delivering alcoholic beverages, the agency stated in a June 7 press release.

ABC developed the program by holding meetings around the state with stakeholders to gather input to determine the best method of meeting the new training mandate, according to the release.

Based on input, ABC stated it created a training portal, which provides access to an alcoholic beverage training service and certification program to address the law’s requirements.

“The development of the RBS portal is a major accomplishment. The entirety of the certification process is online, including the ability to accept online payments,” Licensing Division Chief Jaime Taylor stated in the release. “The RBS training program is designed to provide licensees, managers, and servers with the tools and knowledge needed to promote responsible consumption, reduce youth access to alcohol, and make communities safe.”

Prospective training providers are still being encouraged to submit their applications to ABC on the portal, the release stated. ABC reviews the trainer applications to determine if they meet the standards for certification to train servers to serve alcohol safely and responsibly.

ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

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