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Navigating the Responsible Beverage Service Training Act

April 9, 2018
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is conducting stakeholder outreach to cities and other interested stakeholders on their implementation efforts on the Responsible Beverage Service Training Act, a community-based approach geared toward reducing risks associated with retail alcohol environments
The new law, beginning July 1, 2021, will require all alcoholic beverage servers throughout California to complete Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training.
Under this law, servers will be required to become certified by an RBS training course from an accredited training provider no later than three months after their initial employment date, and once every three years thereafter. The program is designed to provide alcoholic beverage servers the proper tools to effectively identify when a patron has consumed too much alcohol and how to safely intervene when an intoxicated patron attempts to get into their vehicle.
The goal of the Responsible Beverage Service Training Act is to reduce drunk driving and alcohol-related crime and bolster local government’s effectiveness in maintaining public safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drunk driving incidents cause 10,000 deaths annually throughout the state — approximately one death every 51 minutes. Nationwide, 18 states, as well as various cities within California, have already adopted similar responsible beverage service training mandates, which has been met with sizeable decreases in alcohol-related driving incidents. ABC believes maintaining collaborative efforts between state agencies and local governments on public safety efforts will be an effective strategy to implement this new law.
In addition to cities that may have a general interest in understanding this law, a number of cities may have even a more specific interest in that that have previously adopted similar policies locally.  According to information supplied by ABC the cities of Berkeley, Salinas, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Ventura,
National City, Solana Beach, Poway, Oceanside, San Marcos, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, Newport Beach and Vista have existing alcoholic beverage service training policies.
For more information on the Responsible Beverage Service Training Act and to find out how your city may be affected, please contact LaKenya Jordan, ABC legislative affairs director at (916) 928-6821

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