Dec 7, 2021

ABC’s LEAD Program Celebrates 30 Years

Over 351,000 alcoholic beverage industry employees have been trained

Sacramento – The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s (ABC) LEAD training program is celebrating 30 years of service. LEAD stands for Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs. The award-winning program provides free voluntary training, and it has now trained over 351,000 California alcoholic beverage industry members at in-person classes since the program was created back in 1991. An additional 59,000 individuals have registered and started or completed the training online, which the department started offering in 2018 to create greater access for more people.

The LEAD program currently only serves Off-Sale licensees and their employees. This training program is separate from ABC’s Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Program that was created through Assembly Bill 1221 in 2017. That law mandates RBS training for all On-Sale premises ABC licensees that exercise on-sale privileges by August 31, 2022.

The LEAD program began on January 1, 1991, with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and is currently funded by a grant from OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Since February 1995, ABC has funded the program through (OTS) grants or the department’s resources. The current curriculum is designed for Off-Sale licensees, managers, employees, and applicants for Off-Sale alcoholic beverage licenses. The LEAD program continues to add information and make improvements to better serve California’s diverse communities.

The program provides attendees with practical information on serving alcoholic beverages safely, responsibly, and legally, with an emphasis on preventing sales to minors, sales to obviously intoxicated persons, and illicit drug activity at the business.

“This type of training not only helps businesses better understand their responsibilities but also provides them with the tools and knowledge they need to promote responsible beverage sales and contribute to making communities safer,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata.

ABC encourages off-sale licensees to sign up for ABC’s Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) training free of charge. Licensees and their employees can take the training online.

To learn more about ABC enforcement and prevention programs that can help increase public safety, visit ABC Enforcement Programs or ABC Education Programs.

ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.


Additional information may be obtained by contacting:

Public Information Office
3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834
Phone: (916) 419-2525

Follow ABC on Twitter
Follow ABC on Facebook