Council moves forward with alcohol training program

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— The city may soon provide as many as four advanced alcohol server training sessions a year to local bar and restaurant owners, managers and supervisors.

During a Liquor License Authority meeting Thursday, the Steamboat Springs City Council, which also acts as the Liquor License Authority, discussed sponsoring between two and four voluntary training sessions a year in hopes that the advanced training will address topics not typically covered in alcohol server training classes. Businesses that are represented at the trainings could get more lenient treatment if caught violating alcohol laws, according to an ordinance city staff was directed to write.

The advanced class was designed by a group of law enforcement officers, city staff, alcohol server training educators, liquor license holders and community members as a result of a November 2006 meeting during which the council discussed reinstating a requirement that all alcohol servers complete responsible alcohol training classes on a regular basis.

The group determined that few alcohol servers or sellers find value in the re-certification process. Instead, the group designed curriculum geared toward improving police and business interaction, general discussions of "real life" scenarios that include knowing how to handle intoxicated people and fights, asking for identification and drug awareness issues.

Although the classes would be voluntary, participating in them could lessen a business' liquor license suspension or revocation stipulation if it failed an alcohol compliance check.

The council directed City Clerk Julie Jordan to include the advanced training class as part of a penalty for any establishment that fails an alcohol compliance check.

In other business, the council agreed not to move forward with a social host ordinance that would allow police to hold parents or adults accountable for underage drinking that occurs in their homes or rental units parents provide. Council agreed that such a tool is already available under state law.

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