OCEANSIDE — An Alcohol and Beverage Control Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (ABC LEAD) training was held on Dec. 13 to better equip those who serve alcohol to do so responsibly.
The training session at Oceanside City Council chambers drew about eight bartenders and servers.
Information shared by an ABC instructor ranged from state laws, to signs of intoxication and how to intervene with intoxicated or underage customers.
Oceanside Police officers also spoke to participants about police responsibility to inspect and enforce alcohol beverage service regulations.
Lt. George Darrah said officers reminded bartenders and servers of the importance of their role in community safety.
Darrah said it educates those who sell and serve alcohol about their own personal liabilities as well how each individual in the industry affects the safety of the community.
During the four-hour training session guidelines were shared on how not to over-serve, create any animosity with customers and make assumptions.
The bottom line of the training is that hospitality is more than serving drinks, it is responsible service that benefits the guest, server and business.
At the end of the training session participants took a written exam and received a certificate of completion.
Gumaro Escarcega, MainStreet Oceanside program manager, also addressed participants.
He said training shared best practices on how to increase customer service and reduce business liability.
“It does help educate servers on when to cut off people and not create issues in our area,” Escarcega said.
Escarcega said he does not see many alcohol-related issues downtown, but knows the training will make a difference and improve the downtown experience.
“Learning how to serve our customers will improve the positive perception of downtown, it’s good for business,” Escarcega said.
Oceanside is among cities that require LEAD training. It has been mandatory for Oceanside owners, bartenders and servers since November 2015.
There are 300 businesses that serve alcohol in Oceanside.
Currently it is not known how many of those businesses have LEAD-trained servers, but that will soon change.
Darrah said Oceanside Police are working on an enforcement plan to ensure servers are trained.
“OPD is in the process of formulating a plan to educate business owners on this ordinance as well as checking for proof of LEADs training during random over-serving operations and IMPACT inspections conducted in conjunction with the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control,” Darrah said.
He added it’s about community health and safety, and business viability.
“The Oceanside Police Department wants businesses to thrive and prosper, but do so in a responsible way that does not jeopardize the safety of the community,” Darrah said.
Six free ABC LEAD training sessions will be scheduled in Oceanside in 2017. All are welcome to attend.
The cities of Encinitas, Solana Beach, Carlsbad (entertainment businesses), San Marcos and Vista also require LEAD training.