Alcohol class teaches serving | SteamboatToday.com

Alcohol class teaches serving

Safe TIPS course one of five accepted by city

Alexis DeLaCruz

— Knowing when to stop serving alcohol to an intoxicated person and checking IDs were two key messages given Tuesday to about 30 local bar and restaurant workers.

Hobart “Hobey” Early, a Training for Intervention Procedure, or TIPS, trainer and B&K Distributing sales manager, taught the city of Steamboat Springs-sponsored class to bring alcohol servers into compliance with city ordinances.

City Clerk Julie Jordan said every Steamboat employee who serves alcohol as part of their job – including liquor store clerks – must be alcohol server trained. The city requires servers be certified in one of five alcohol server training courses. Liquor license holders provide the city with a list of their employees who serve alcohol and their certification every time the license is renewed.

The five courses accepted by the city are TIPS, the Bartender’s Understanding of Responsibility Project (BURP), Bar Code, Certified Alcohol Server Training (CAST) and Responsible Alcohol Serving (RAS).

The Steamboat Springs City Council, which also is the city’s Liquor License Authority, recently began discussions about whether to make re-certification a requirement for alcohol servers. The city does not currently require servers to recertify once they have been trained.

During Tuesday’s course, Early told the group that the most important message he could send was to be responsible in serving alcohol to customers and to be responsible for yourself.

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“It’d be really easy for me to say to everyone in this room: ‘Check IDs, make sure they’re 21 and don’t over-serve anyone,’ but that doesn’t seem to happen,” he said.

Early said teaching the class, which focused on using people skills to deal with disgruntled patrons and recognizing symptoms of intoxication and how to properly check IDs, help alcohol servers understand that they are crucial in creating safe places for visitors and locals.

“I’m teaching you the proper way to intervene in a situation that you may need to intervene in,” he said. “It may be escorting (an intoxicated person) out the door, cutting them off or just slowing them down.”

The four-hour class included a series of videos, a lecture and real-life scenarios during which course participants had to gauge how drunk a person was and grade how well the server handled the situation.

Taking the lessons learned in the classroom and using them in real-life situations is the best training any alcohol server can get, Early said.

“The real training happens when you get into situations in your bar or your restaurant or your liquor store, and you have to decide what to do,” he said.

For more

For more information on the city-sponsored TIPS program, call Deputy City Clerk Julie Franklin at 879-2060. For more information on the BURP program, call instructor Tom Traynor at 879-7637.