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SCRLA testifies in support of alcohol server training program requirements

Friday, April 15, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Montgomery
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Passage of one of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association’s legislative priorities calling for alcohol servers in SC to complete alcohol training programs was urged during a Senate Judiciary Sub-Committee meeting Thursday.


SCRLA President and CEO John Durst and Vice President Douglas OFlaherty spoke in support of the South Carolina Responsible Alcoholic Beverage Server Training Act, known as Alli’s law, which was introduced by Senator Larry Martin (R-Pickens) last February in response to a tragedy involving an Upstate teenager who died in a car crash on her way home from drinking at a bar. 


Currently, establishment managers or persons that serve alcohol are not required to go through any type of training by the state. All current alcohol training programs are voluntary. Training only becomes mandatory after a business is cited for violations.


Durst spoke about the benefits of alcohol training, particularly the ServSafe Alcohol Training and Certification program. Durst said more education and training within the industry could help deter similar tragedies in the future. Durst also suggested Senators consider amending the bill to include training for businesses that provide “on-premise” consumption only.


OFlaherty talked to lawmakers about training programs currently available and the benefits of each. The National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Alcohol Training and Certification program is accepted as an approved program by the SC Department of Revenue.


Representatives from the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the SC Department of Revenue (SCDOR) and the Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission also spoke at the meeting in support of Alli’s Law.


While there is a lot of support for the bill, lawmakers say it’s unlikely it will get passed this year because many details still need to be worked out, including looking at the cost of training on business owners and how training will be managed and overseen.


“Can we make this happen today? Doubtful,” said Senator Luke Rankin (R-Horry). “But there may be a House vehicle we can play with and this conversation is a good starting point.”


The SCRLA will continue to keep members updated and informed on the status of this bill and others that affect the hospitality industry. A comprehensive South Carolina Legislative Summary is available online. For an in-depth report, please click here.

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