Comments on RBS Pending Regulation

Comments received during the week of September 23, 2019.

Comment #13

From Pete Downs, Family Winemakers of California

To Whom it may concern:

As President of Family Winemakers of California, a trade association representing primarily small family owned wineries, I request that you extend the comment period. My organization has quarterly Board meetings and we did not have one scheduled for the period between August 9th, when the notice came out, and September 24th, when comments are due.

We have a Board meeting scheduled for November to avoid conflicts with the harvest, and request an extension of at least 90 days so that we can have a discussion about this complex issue.

Thank you.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #14:

From Steve and Pam Lock, Ecluse Wines

We are writing to request an extension of public comment regarding the proposed new ABC Rules 160 to 173 .  The implementation of these changes as written today would impose tremendous burdens on small wineries like ourselves throughout the state of California.  These requirements are hugely onerous and the financial impact on not only us but the State of California is hefty.

We are asking you to reconsider the deadline for comment so that the industry and provide you with the potential impact of these rules.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #15:

From Jeff Stevenson

We request more time for comments on the new rules 160-173

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #16

From Beth Costa

To Whom it may concern:

As the Executive Director or Wine Road Northern Sonoma County, a winery association representing nearly 200 wineries, I would like to request that you extend the comment period.

Our organization has quarterly Board meetings and we were not aware of this pending RBS overhaul at the time of our last meeting.

We would like to request an extension of at least 90 days so that we can review this complex issue, which will seriously effect every one of our members.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #17

From Kelly Breitmeyer

To whom it may concern,

Regarding the new proposed training act – why the rush? This proposal will create a huge burden on anyone working in the hospitality industry. The proposed rules were released to the public in August however we just heard about them. There is so much information involved which can effect my job and my livelihood – this is not enough time to understand how it will affect our industry and our jobs. The proposed content requirements for the exam are so in depth, it’s ridiculous, making not only the content of the course difficult, but it also makes passing the exam more difficult than it should be. This would jeopardize the employment and livelihood of thousands and thousands and thousands of people in our industry. Why the rush on this? Think about how this is going to affect EVERYONE in the service industry and how those can lose their jobs because of this. Please shorten the rules, help alleviate the burden of the paperwork and training on both the providers and licensees, etc.

Please re-think how this is going to affect everyone involved.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #18

From Maddie Clark

Hello,

I would respectfully request a hearing on this for the public, I’m especially concerned at the speed at which this rulemaking is being pushed through. Thank you for your consideration of us who work DAILY in the alcoholic beverage industry.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #19

From Theresa Azevedo

What is the hurry? Give us all time to process this and have an open discussion. It’s too important to push this through without taking the time to consider all the ramifications from this. This will affect millions of people and cause a lot of us to possibly lose our jobs!

 ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #20

From Deanna Starr, Milano Winery

I have issues with some of the rules proposed for Responsible Beverage Service Act proposed ABC rules 160 to 173.

Requesting additional time to make a thorough review of the proposed rules and the ability to respond adequately.

Thanks you

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #21

From Lon Nebiolini

I respectfully request more time be allowed for public comments and a public hearing held prior to adopting any of these new regulations.

These new rules will have a major impact on Millions of Californians.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #22

From Joy Sterling, Iron Horse Vineyards

Title 4 Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Proposed Regulations Responsible Beverage Server Program: Comments from Joy Sterling, Partner/CEO Iron Horse Vineyards.

My family and I want to express our support for training. We take our responsibilities as a winery with a tasting room very seriously. But  we have not been given enough time to respond to the proposed new regulations. The implementing rules should be considerably shortened and the paperwork burden greatly reduced.

We look forward to hearing your response back to us.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #23

From Liz Ryan, Oakstone Winery

Dear ABC Rulemakers,

As we have just been made aware of these proposed new regulations, I do not have the time to write a personal letter with our thoughts and concerns, but this letter written by John Hinman of Hinman and Carmichael, LLP, and distributed to us via Family Winemakers, addresses our concerns very concisely. We would ask that you please consider the implications of these over-reaching rules on the public, we business owners, and the thousands of employees whose jobs will be threatened.  We would appreciate you reading the following and the attachment :

  • The proposal creates a new state bureaucracy (one that will rival the DMV for cost, size and complexity) where every alcohol server in the state must submit personal information to a state data base where the privacy protections are unclear. The alternatives of the certificate information being maintained by either the individual licensee or his/her employer were rejected. Why were the alternatives rejected? The ABC doesn’t say.
  • The Proposed Rules were released to the public on August 9th with only 45 days to comment. This is barely enough time to read the proposal packed with this much dense information, much less analyze what it does and how it affects the industry.
  • The course requirements expand five general subjects listed in the legislature’s Act to require actual detailed course content for each subject – – freezing in place service practices recommended by anti-alcohol advocacy groups and making the content the regulation regardless of future developments. This was not the intent of the RBS bill.
  • No server in California may be employed unless he/she takes the proposed training course and passes the exam with a 70% score. However, the proposed content requirements for the course go far beyond the general knowledge required to observe intoxication and work to avoid drunk driving as contemplated by the Legislature.
  • For example, the proposed training requirements related to the effects of alcohol and how the body metabolizes alcohol go far beyond what is necessary for servers to know to observe intoxication, makes not only the content of the course difficult, but also makes passing the exam more difficult than it need be, jeopardizing the employment and livelihood of millions of people in this state who serve alcohol – including winery, brewery and distillery personnel, event and catering personnel and every bartender, waiter and waitress in the state. How many thousands of people must be terminated from their employment for the business to keep it alcoholic beverage license?
  • The ID checking will establish as state law procedures for determining when Section 25660 (reliance upon bona fide proof of identification) may be relied upon. This affects every clerk, checker and other person in the state who sells alcoholic beverages, not just servers. Now all ID’s must be pulled out of wallets, manually examined for flaws and compared to exemplar data bases. If that is not done, the ID cannot be relied upon. Every person in a group where one person purchases alcohol will also have to be carded; upon pain of the business losing its right to sell alcohol. If this is to be the law in California it deserves to be discussed.
  • The new Training program regulation will require servers to now also be responsible for detecting legal or illegal drug use. This creates a whole new area of liability for servers and employers not anticipated in the Legislature’s Act; and not part of the authorizing legislation.
  • The new regulations expand what a server must know about the alcoholic beverage laws and alcoholic/drug use beyond what is necessary to provide responsible service and will increase the likelihood of liability on the part of the individual and the establishment. For example, in one part, the content states that “too many calls to police for service may be grounds to suspend or revoke a license”.

Conclusion

Don’t get us wrong. This law is a major positive step forward in encouraging training of alcohol servers in California. But these regulations will affect not only every restaurant, night club, hotel, tourist park, stadium and business in the state that offers hospitality but every winery, brewery and distillery with a tasting room, and every event held in this state in any location that in any way involves the service of alcohol. To adopt such far reaching regulations without discussion and debate is foolhardy.

We recommend that the implementing rules be considerably shortened, the paperwork burden put on the training providers and licensees rather than on the state and the instructional program left to private industry (subject to the reasonable approval of the Department) rather than dictated in detail in inflexible ABC regulations that cannot be easily changed as new information and scientific developments update our understanding of the science of alcohol consumption.

We are looking forward to the Department’s response to our comments and, hopefully, a public hearing that flushes out the issues and create a framework for resolution in the spirit of the original bill. This is simply too important to be pushed through without taking the time to consider all the facets of the proposed new rules.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.

The referenced attachment is not available here as it was not provided in a format that meets the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines for accessibility. Please email RBSTPComments@abc.ca.gov to request the attachment as a PDF document. You may visit our Accessibility page for more information.


Comment #24

From Marguerite Capp

Please allow adequate time for those of us in the industry to review and try to understand this new policy. Thank you. Marguerite Capp

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #25

From Douglas Minnick, Hoi Polloi Winery

Dear ABC,

I am writing to express my strong opinion that more time be given to receive comments and feedback on the proposed new rules 160 – 173 of the 2017 Responsible Beverage Service Training Act.

These proposed rules will have a major impact on small businesses such as ours, as well as our service employees, and must not be enacted without proper evaluation of these impacts.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #26

From Bart Barthelemy, St. Barthelemy Cellars

Sirs:

I would like to add my support and agreement to the comments submitted by the firm of Hinman & Carmichael LLP, on September 20, 2019, (attachment) on the proposed rulemaking by the California ABC about the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program.  Such a wide-sweeping change in the rule is uncalled for in the current environment and ,at the very least, deserves a longer comment period and a full public hearing.  The Department has not, and, must clearly demonstrate the need for such a far-reaching, expensive, and intrusive new rule.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.

The referenced attachment is not available here as it was not provided in a format that meets the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines for accessibility. Please email RBSTPComments@abc.ca.gov to request the attachment as a PDF document. You may visit our Accessibility page for more information.


Comment #27

From Rebecca Sciandri Griffin, Sciandri Family Vineyards

While I support the goals of the Responsible Beverage Service Training Act of 2017, and the significant efforts of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to adopt regulations to implement the Act.

This email is to request additional time for public comment of the proposed new rules.  I am a business owner with an ABC licence and today, one day before the comment period ends, is the first time I was aware of the significant rules being proposed.  I request a public hearing were alternative procedures can be proposed and discussed.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #28

From Cory Bosworth, Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards

To whom it may concern:

We are a small winery, as part of a fifth-generation-family farm here in the Silicon Valley side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. We only have three full time employees at our winery, all family members – the Winemaker, the Assistant Winemaker, and me, the Tasting Room Manager.But our business are sustained by 10 part-time employees, who help us sell wine in the Tasting Room on weekends.

We are in favor of education for our staff to help navigate issues around serving alcohol.

That said, we request additional time for comments on the regulations for the Responsible Beverage Service Act.

We only found out about the proposed regulations coming down today.    We have taken care to join two local winery associations (the Santa Clara Valley Winery Association and the Santa Cruz Mountains Winery Association) and the Wine Institute in order to be on top of issues in the industry – so clearly, the information has not been well dispersed, which makes it feel as though this was done in an underhanded fashion.

Further, from what we understand, these proposed regulations could be crushing to our small business, providing bigger hoops, both in training time but also in financial cost and potentially in privacy cost (something about wanting to create a bureaucracy to collect information on servers of alcohol?) to jump through to hire staff.

It is already incredibly difficult and stressful to find and hire service staff in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley, as costs of living, etc., are only going up.  This is a well documented situation.

We have worked hard as a family to preserve the tradition of agriculture here in Santa Clara County, and on the Peninsula of the South Bay.  My uncle Jan Garrod serves as a Director on the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau, and Director of District 10 in the California Farm Bureau Federation.  He also serves on the Board of the Peninsulua Open Space Trust, as does my brother Andrew Bosworth.  We have worked hard to give back by participating in local government and being invovled members of our community.

Growing grapes and making wine has been a relatively recent business for my family, but it has been one that has enabled us to continue to stay and farm the land here, even as development and tech continues to grow and dominate our local economy.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #29

From William Easton

To Whom It May Concern:

Wine Tasting Rooms were created as an adjunct to a Wine Grower’s License as a method to enhance and promote the sales of a California Agricultural Product through sampling or tastes. We are generally NOT serving people alcoholic beverages to drink, but to acquaint the tasters with the characteristics of the wine or wines tasted. In the case where we sell glasses of wine to certain individuals, and bottles for picnics, it should not be our responsibility to manage another adult’s personal behavior once they leave our tasting room, other than not serving or selling alcoholic beverages to anyone who appears intoxicated, or is under the legal drinking age. We are not in the law enforcement business. We are farmers and winemakers selling a California Agricultural Product.

For this reason I feel that all wine grower licensee’s should be excluded from this Act. It puts an unrealistic financial and bureaucratic burden on a small family agricultural businesses that are only attempting to sell their products directly to the public. If it will be implemented for wine grower’s licensees, then there should be an exemption for wineries which produce less than 50,000 cases of wine.

“A winetasting is a presentation of samples of – for the purpose of acquainting the tasters with the characteristics of the wine or wines tasted.Licensees may engage in winetasting activities only as set forth in statute and this rule. In of the participants between successive samples of wine during a winetasting.” –

CA ABC Code: Title: 4, Article 9, Para. 53

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS

TITLE 4. BUSINESS REGULATIONS

Division 1.

Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

(Originally Printed 3-22-45)

THE AGRICULTURAL BASIS OF A WINE GROWER’S LICENSE IS STATED IN THE CALIFORNIA STATE CODE:

(c) A winegrower shall actually produce on his or her licensed premises by conversion of grapes, berries, or other fruit, into wine, not less than 50 percent of all wines sold to consumers on his or her licensed premise or premises and any licensed branch premise or premises.

BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE – BPC

DIVISION 9. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES [23000 – 25762]
( Division 9 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152. )

CHAPTER 3. Licenses and Fees [23300 – 23508]

( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152. )

ARTICLE 3. Rights and Obligations of Licensees [23355 – 23405.4]

( Article 3 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152. )

23358.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment 30:

From Chris Whitaker

Hi,

I would like to request additional time for comments as there are many things that are not clear and the extremely limited amount of time given to respond is inadequate.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment 31:

From Cristina Topham, Spread Catering Co.

While I respect the goals of the responsible beverage service act, the new rules were not released until 6 weeks ago, during the busiest time of year for the service industry in California. This does not provide enough time for those of us in the industry to read, understand and comment on them. I would like to ask that you please consider extending the comment period.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period


Comment #32:

From David Helwig, Helwig Winery

The industry has not had enough time to review and respond to the proposed new rules. I urge you to extend the time for comments.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period


Comment #33

From Robert Indelicato, California Wine Classics

Dear ABC,

I am the owner of a winery that sell DTC.  We just now are learning of the RBSTPC Act and would request that there be more time to review and digest this regulation.

I have read the letter provided to the ABC from Hinman and Carmichael and agree to many of the issues they raise.

Please allow for additional comment time as there has been no time for us to read the regulation.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #34

From Matthew Sutton, California Restaurant Association

To Whom it May Concern,

Thank you for allowing comments on The Responsible Beverage Service Training Program Act of 2017 (RBSTPA), codified as Business and Professions Code sections 25680-25686.

The attached comments represent joint views from the California Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association and the providers of The ServSafe Alcohol Program.

We support the desired outcomes of the Act to increase training and reduce negative alcohol related incidents.

We respectfully submit our comments to see the most effective training to help reduce incidents of underage drinking, intoxication and loss of life due to alcohol.

Our comments come as we have heard the views of restaurant locations from across the state and from national chains that make up the 76,000+ eating and drinking locations in California.

We also submit these comments from the view of a responsible alcohol service training provider.

The ServSafe Alcohol program trains over 100,000+ annually across the country. The training has been in existence for over 15+ years. Our program was developed through input from industry, regulators, legal experts and educational professionals.

Our comments on the Act come from our experience and regulatory feedback on how to make the most effective training program for industry.

Thank you for your consideration.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.

The referenced attachment is not available here as it was not provided in a format that meets the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines for accessibility. Please email RBSTPComments@abc.ca.gov to request the attachment as a PDF document. You may visit our Accessibility page for more information.


Comment #35

From Merry Edwards, Merry Edwards Winery

To whom it may concern,

Our company agrees with the attached comment letter regarding more time being needed for more complete evaluation of this proposed regulation. The beverage industry should have input on this Act as it appears to impose sweeping changes which will be difficult to implement and some of the provisions seem quite unreasonable. If implementation takes place with the ACT in its current form, this would in effect put the entire hospitality industry out of business for an unknown period of time. In fact it could drive many companies completely out of business destroying local, state and national tax revenue streams.

It feels like the announcement of this Act was suppressed. As a winery, we are certainly on the ABC “mailing list”. However, today is the first time anyone in our company heard about this, but not from your agency.  The question arises, was this intentionally done to coincide with harvest so that our attention would be diverted? The fact that no information came directly from the ABC is quite disturbing…

Please put the brakes on implementation of this Act. More time and thoughtful consideration needs to be given with public forums as part of that process.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.

The referenced attachment is not available here as it was not provided in a format that meets the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines for accessibility. Please email RBSTPComments@abc.ca.gov to request the attachment as a PDF document. You may visit our Accessibility page for more information.


Comment #36

From Keilah Smith, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham

I thought I would send you my questions regarding the “Responsible Beverage Service Training Program” I have had a few businesses reach out on this new program.

I am familiar with the food handlers card that was implemented a few years ago for restaurants and catering companies.

Are the restaurants, wineries, festivals etc. going to have to participate in training in a specialized area only conducted by ABC representatives?

Or is this something like the Food Handler Card that can be obtained through an online course at a site like ServSafe?

My constituents are concerned of the costs for their small businesses. If they have to go offsite for this training, and how are they going to staff their business if there are only a few of these classes and they all have to attend together.

Thank you for any assistance in advance!

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #37

From Andrea Bradford,

As the owner of a small winery, I respectfully request the comment period for the Responsible Beverage Service Program be extended. I believe that we were inadequately noticed about the details of this program (which we support 100%). We need further time to study and comment on a program that will severely impact small wineries.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #38

From Phillip Anderson

I just saw the notice for this act.  I believe that a regulation change that impacts such a large portion of the workforce needs more input & comment before it is allowed to pass into law without a vote.  The food service employs almost 2 million people in California.  Placing an additional burden on the large percentage of those people who work in jobs that require alcohol service should be done with care.

Reducing drunk driving is a laudable goal. It is a laudable enough goal that it should be able to survive a bit of sunshine & debate rather than being adopted without input from the people impacted.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #39

From Gina Richmond, Mangels Vineyards

I am a winery owner and I have the following concerns from the new rules proposed:

The proposal creates a new state bureaucracy (one that will rival the DMV for cost, size and complexity) where every alcohol server in the state must submit personal information to a state data base where the privacy protections are unclear. The alternatives of the certificate information being maintained by either the individual licensee or his/her employer were rejected. Why were the alternatives rejected? The ABC doesn’t say.

The Proposed Rules were released to the public on August 9th with only 45 days to comment. This is barely enough time to read the proposal packed with this much dense information, much less analyze what it does and how it affects the industry.

The course requirements expand five general subjects listed in the legislature’s Act to require actual detailed course content for each subject – – freezing in place service practices recommended by anti-alcohol advocacy groups and making the content the regulation regardless of future developments. This was not the intent of the RBS bill.

No server in California may be employed unless he/she takes the proposed training course and passes the exam with a 70% score. However, the proposed content requirements for the course go far beyond the general knowledge required to observe intoxication and work to avoid drunk driving as contemplated by the Legislature.

For example, the proposed training requirements related to the effects of alcohol and how the body metabolizes alcohol go far beyond what is necessary for servers to know to observe intoxication, makes not only the content of the course difficult, but also makes passing the exam more difficult than it need be, jeopardizing the employment and livelihood of millions of people in this state who serve alcohol – including winery, brewery and distillery personnel, event and catering personnel and every bartender, waiter and waitress in the state. How many thousands of people must be terminated from their employment for the business to keep it alcoholic beverage license?

The ID checking will establish as state law procedures for determining when Section 25660 (reliance upon bona fide proof of identification) may be relied upon. This affects every clerk, checker and other person in the state who sells alcoholic beverages, not just servers. Now all ID’s must be pulled out of wallets, manually examined for flaws and compared to exemplar data bases. If that is not done, the ID cannot be relied upon. Every person in a group where one person purchases alcohol will also have to be carded; upon pain of the business losing its right to sell alcohol. If this is to be the law in California it deserves to be discussed.

The new Training program regulation will require servers to now also be responsible for detecting legal or illegal drug use. This creates a whole new area of liability for servers and employers not anticipated in the Legislature’s Act; and not part of the authorizing legislation.

The new regulations expand what a server must know about the alcoholic beverage laws and alcoholic/drug use beyond what is necessary to provide responsible service and will increase the likelihood of liability on the part of the individual and the establishment. For example, in one part, the content states that “too many calls to police for service may be grounds to suspend or revoke a license”.

Please give these proposed rules their due time for analysis and debate, as they affect a lot of California small businesses like my own.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #40:

From Graham Clark

I vehemently oppose the written tests being considered for alcohol servers. It makes no sense to offer it only in English. The implementation of this requirement will be a disaster for our food and beverage industry. It will destroy families who depend on those jobs for a living. It will disproportionately affect low income families, leaving me know other option than to think that this is deliberately racist. As a Napa Valley native and wine industry veteran, I fully understand the importance of regulation and responsible alcohol service. This is not the way to get it done.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #41

From W. Blake Gray

Dear ABC: As currently planned, these regulations are racist and classist. They will place a burden on low-income people and function as a barrier to higher-paying jobs.

Here are several ways this new course required by the legislature can be made accessible for all Californians:

  • The course should be available for free, in every county and municipality in the state. Aspiring restaurant servers should not have to pay a third-party company for certification. The ABC should develop a course itself, and should not charge people to take it.
  • The course should be available in multiple languages. This should be written into the regulations to ensure that people who speak Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese or other languages commonly used by California restaurant workers are able to take the test in their first language. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO HAVE GOOD COMMAND OF WRITTEN ENGLISH TO RECOGNIZE AN INTOXICATED PERSON.
  • Unless specifically ordered to by the legislature, the ABC should NOT maintain a database of the names and sensitive identification information of restaurant servers. This is unnecessary bureaucracy at taxpayer expense, and it violates the privacy of people just serving lunch for a living.
  • The requirements of the course should be re-examined to eliminate extraneous subjects that are not necessary to the main function, which is to identify intoxicated people.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #42

From Leslie Renaud, Martin Ray Winery

Requiring servers to pass a written exam in English in order to be allowed to serve alcohol is ludicrous and racist and should not be the law!

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #43

From Lisa Howard, Tenbrink Vineyards and Winery

To whom it may concern,

These comments are in regards to:

RESPONSIBLE BEVERAGE SERVICE ACT PROPOSED ABC RULES 160 TO 173.

  • I would like to see the comment period extended so the owners and operators of wineries may have a reasonable chance to review these proposed changes.

    The comment period was released during the middle of harvest/crush, the busiest time of a year for many owners.

  • how will this law be implemented for family friendly harvest events, where there is mixed company of people over and under 21?  Where wine tasting is still offered on property for 02 permits?
  • has the cost of this implementation be evaluated and how.this may negatively effect small producers with grower permits. Is there a threshold for implemention?
  • who will provide the required training?

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #44

From Robert Mueller, McKenzie-Mueller Vineyards & Winery

I wish to comment on the ABC Rules 160 to 173 as proposed.

As proposed, it is overly cumbersome and inefficient.  It should be easy, simple and less expensive.  This will create additional state bureaucracy, and I don’t believe what is proposed will be easy, simple, or inexpensive.  Why must the state mandate a system that instead should be up to the individual licensee or his/her employer? Lack of privacy is another issue  these rules do not go far enough to protect.  Will this proposal create another industry benefiting training companies who will gain economically by providing training and for the state to require additional fees and permits?  I hope not.  Providing training will be costly for all businesses, large and small.   Have other alternatives been fully investigated that will satisfy, but be more economically feasible for small businesses and simpler to handle?

The training goes beyond what a server needs to know to observe intoxication.  Why is so much science required in the training?

What is the intent of this bill and how does it explain how best to address the issues?  I don’t feel that those important issues have been addressed sufficiently.

This bill is an attempt by anti-alcohol groups to use the state to spread its reach and accomplish its goal of prohibition.  By making this more costly and complex it will be an economic burden to small businesses like ourselves.  Even after these rules there will still be lawbreakers while the cost of the system will be born by the entire industry.

I feel that more work and discussion needs to be done on these proposed rules so that they are simpler, more economical and easier for companies to comply.

And, the time frame for comments on these proposed rules needs to be more lengthy to better address direct and indirect impacts to businesses and individuals.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #45

From Derek Cronk

Dear ABC: As currently planned, these regulations are racist and classist. They will place a burden on low-income people and function as a barrier to higher-paying jobs.

Here are several ways this new course required by the legislature can be made accessible for all Californians:

  • The course should be available for free, in every county and municipality in the state. Aspiring restaurant servers should not have to pay a third-party company for certification. The ABC should develop a course itself, and should not charge people to take it.
  • The course should be available in multiple languages. This should be written into the regulations to ensure that people who speak Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese or other languages commonly used by California restaurant workers are able to take the test in their first language. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO HAVE GOOD COMMAND OF WRITTEN ENGLISH TO RECOGNIZE AN INTOXICATED PERSON.
  • Unless specifically ordered to by the legislature, the ABC should NOT maintain a database of the names and sensitive identification information of restaurant servers. This is unnecessary bureaucracy at taxpayer expense, and it violates the privacy of people just serving lunch for a living.
  • The requirements of the course should be re-examined to eliminate extraneous subjects that are not necessary to the main function, which is to identify intoxicated people.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #46

From Alder Yarrow, Vinography

Dear California ABC,

I am writing to comment on your proposed rules 160 to 173 among which include a new set of required trainings for servers of alcoholic beverages in restaurants.

The trainings as described and proposed are discriminatory and unfair, in particular because they make no allowance for people with English as a second language, and they impose an undue burden on a group of people who are often struggling just to make ends meet. They will disproportionately affect immigrants and people of color in a negative way.

The proposed database tracking of the identities of restaurant servers also will be a violation of privacy and serve as a chilling effect on employment for those with fears ofCBP, immigration, and other government agencies.

The presumed positive effects of these required trainings are dubious to say the least.

I strongly urge you to reconsider these mandatory trainings as part of these rules or consider adopting the following changes:

  • Make the courses free everywhere
  • Make them multi-lingual, and allow servers to take tests in their native language
  • Do not maintain a database of the identities of servers
  • If the concern is making sure a server can identify an intoxicated person, then focus the training on that and that only

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #47

From Karen Mueller

As one of the owners and operators of a small family winery, I am writing to comment on the proposed new “responsible beverage service act” regulations.

Firstly, the proposed rules were released to the public on August 9th of this year, with only 45 days allowed for comments. These regulations are complex and the time allowed for comments was inadequate, and for those of us in the winery industry, it comes at the busiest time of the year for us, at the start of harvest.

As to the proposed regulations themselves, they are far too sweeping and do not address the assumed purpose of the regulations. For example, the proposed training requirements related to the effects of alcohol and how the boy metabolizes alcohol go far beyond what is necessary for servers to know to observe intoxication. The regulations for ID checking also goes beyond what is reasonable, we currently have laws in place for this.

This new law also adds the responsibility for detecting legal or illegal drug use to servers, which creates a whole new area of responsibility for servers which should not be included in this.

The new regulations expand what is needed for servers way beyond what is necessary to provide responsible service. II would argue that these new regulations, by creating a whole new expensive, burdensome, and unnecessary bureaucracy, will have the opposite affect (alcohol beverage consumption safety) than what it intends. The sweeping nature of the regulations and the bureaucracy it creates will be so burdensome and expensive to a large percentage of California businesses, that it will put a large number of people out of work, and small businesses out of business, without truly addressing the issues it purports to address. I URGE you to reconsider these regulations, and at the very least expand the comment period.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #48

From Allen Gilbert

I represent multiple entities with ABC licenses. While the proposed rules appear to contain many positive features, the proposed rules are extensive and my clients request additional time to study the rules and make substantive comments. Thank you.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #49

From John Viszlay, Viszlay Vineyards

Hello, you must give more time for comments and concerns for the new regulations.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #50

From Manny Espinoza, Wine & Sprits Wholesalers of California, Inc.

September 23, 2019

Re: Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of California, Inc. (“WSWC”)  COMMENTS- PROPOSED REGULATIONS-  ARTICLE 25 – RESPONSIBLE BEVERAGE SERVICE TRAINING PROGRAM

Comments:

Rule 160(b)(9)

There is a lack of clarity in Section 160(b)(9) of the proposed regulations on whether the definition of “manages or supervises” will extend to Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Company and Young’s Market Company  managers or supervisors who train, hire, or oversee alcohol servers employed or contracted by those supplier tier companies who pour product for consumers/patrons at retail establishments or pouring product for consumers at non-profit events. The definition in the proposed regulation reads as follows:

“Manages or supervises” means any person who trains, hires, or oversees alcohol servers at an ABC licensed premises, or any person who makes policy or operational decisions dictating how alcohol service is performed at an ABC licensed premises, including but not limited to, when to check identification or when to refuse service to a patron. This definition specifically excludes an employee or contractor of another separate ABC licensee who is training alcohol servers for marketing or distribution purposes.

The italicized sentence above was not in the original working draft ABC provided earlier this year and was added to the proposed regulation following our discussion with ABC in late July. In our view, the proposed definition is not clear enough that it does not apply to wholesale licensees and also is vague as to what “for marketing or distribution purposes” means. In order to remove clearly any wholesale licensee manager or supervisor from being subject to the RBSTPA, we suggest modifying the italicized sentence as follows:

This definition specifically excludes an employee or contractor of a non-retail ABC licensee who is training, hiring, or overseeing alcohol servers employed or contracted by such licensee.

Accordingly, WSWC  requests that the last sentence of the proposed rule be amended to state more clearly its intent.  The recommended amendment appears below.

“Manages or supervises” means any person who trains, hires, or oversees alcohol servers at an ABC licensed premises, or any person who makes policy or operational decisions dictating how alcohol service is performed at an ABC licensed premises, including but not limited to, when to check identification or when to refuse service to a patron. This definition specifically excludes an employee or contractor of another separate ABC licensee who is training alcohol servers for marketing or distribution purposes.  This definition specifically excludes an employee or contractor of a non-retail ABC licensee who is training, hiring, or overseeing alcohol servers employed or contracted by such licensee.

Rule 173

While WSWC acknowledges the requirements under the RBSTPA for its members’ alcohol servers, it does not believe that its members or their servers should be subject to any other liability under the ABC Act for any other alcohol-service related offenses under the ABC Act such as a sale to a minor or serving an obviously intoxicated person. This should remain the responsibility of either the retail licensee or the nonprofit organization that secures a temporary license. Accordingly, we recommend the following amendment to be added at the end of this section:

(d) No non-retail ABC licensee shall be subject to any administrative penalty for a violation at the ABC licensed premises of any other alcohol-service related offense.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #51

From W. Blake Gray

Hi John, thanks for getting back to me. Here are my questions:

  • Has the comment deadline been extended? If so, until when?
  • Can a former convict serve alcohol?
  • If a former convict needs to be rehabilitated to get a server license (as you indicated on the phone), what would being rehabilitated require?
  • Will there be provisions to allow people to take the test in a language other than English?
  • Who was consulted in designing these proposed regulations?
  • Why are questions about drugs such as stimulants being considered as part of the test?
  • Did the legislature specifically require that ABC maintain a database of restaurant employees and others who have passed this test?

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #52

From Audrey Giroux

Dear ABC: As currently planned, these regulations are racist and classist. They will place a burden on low-income people and function as a barrier to higher-paying jobs.

Here are several ways this new course required by the legislature can be made accessible for all Californians:

  • The course should be available for free, in every county and municipality in the state. Aspiring restaurant servers should not have to pay a third-party company for certification. The ABC should develop a course itself, and should not charge people to take it.
  • The course should be available in multiple languages. This should be written into the regulations to ensure that people who speak Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese or other languages commonly used by California restaurant workers are able to take the test in their first language. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO HAVE GOOD COMMAND OF WRITTEN ENGLISH TO RECOGNIZE AN INTOXICATED PERSON.
  • Unless specifically ordered to by the legislature, the ABC should NOT maintain a database of the names and sensitive identification information of restaurant servers. This is unnecessary bureaucracy at taxpayer expense, and it violates the privacy of people just serving lunch for a living.
  • The requirements of the course should be re-examined to eliminate extraneous subjects that are not necessary to the main function, which is to identify intoxicated people.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #53

From John Skupny, Lang & Reed Wine Company

Dear California ABC,

I am writing to comment on your proposed rules 160 to 173 among which include a new set of required trainings for servers of alcoholic beverages in restaurants.

Here are several ways this new course required by the legislature can be made accessible for all Californians:

  •  The course should be available for free, in every county and municipality in the state. Aspiring restaurant servers should not have to pay a third-party company for certification. The ABC should develop a course itself, and should not charge people to take it.
  • The course should be available in multiple languages. This should be written into the regulations to ensure that people who speak Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese or other languages commonly used by California restaurant workers are able to take the test in their first language. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO HAVE GOOD COMMAND OF WRITTEN ENGLISH TO RECOGNIZE AN INTOXICATED PERSON.
  • Unless specifically ordered to by the legislature, the ABC should NOT maintain a database of the names and sensitive identification information of restaurant servers. This is unnecessary bureaucracy at taxpayer expense, and it violates the privacy of people just serving lunch for a living.
  • The requirements of the course should be re-examined to eliminate extraneous subjects that are not necessary to the main function, which is to identify intoxicated people.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #54

From Laura Welch/Carrie Bonnington, Pillsbury Wihthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Please consider the following comments from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman to the pending Responsible Beverage Service Training Regulation (the “Proposed Rule”).

As currently drafted, the Proposed Rule excludes or limits certain prospective Training Providers, namely law firms and existing licensees.  While some law firms may be able to comply with the disclosure requirements, others certainly cannot.  My firm’s Wine, Beer & Spirits Team has conducted RBS training for clients and industry members for many years.  This is a service our clients want and need.  We have no objection to submitting our proposed RBS training course materials.  But we are effectively excluded from applying to be a Training Provider because we cannot provide all of the required information for qualification, such as submitting fingerprints for all firm partners and officers.  We have hundreds of partners in more than a dozen offices worldwide.  It is not logistically possible to have them qualified.  Frankly it would be an unnecessary drain on the Department’s resources to qualify them all.

Similarly, many industry members use internal resources to conduct RBS training.  Again, we have no objection to requiring submission of the proposed RBS training course material.  But submitting the requested qualification information, such as fingerprints, is logistically problematic.  With existing licensees, all owners and officers would have already been qualified by the Department as part of the application process.  To ask them to go through a similar process is unduly burdensome for the licensee and the Department.

Accordingly, we respectfully request that the Department consider eliminating entity and individual qualification requirements for law firms and existing licensees.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #55

From George Ling

I agree with the spirit in which AB 1221 was enacted – to encourage the responsible consumption of alcohol, but I am AGAINST the proposed implementation of the AB 1221 requiring the passing of a written test by servers.

The implementation of a WRITTEN TEST, in ENGLISH ONLY, administered by a TEST FEE COMPENSATED 3rd PARTY, and requiring GOVT. RESOURCES to manage, is not, repeat, IS NOT the solution.  The end result of the proposed implementation will hurt only those who cannot communicate adequately in written English, while increasing a bloated governmental bureaucracy.

Again, mandating the passing of a written test in English by servers WILL NOT encourage the responsible consumption of alcohol.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #56

From William Thomas

Hello,

I have recently learned about some of the rule changes from the Responsible Beverage Service Act.

As a member of the California wine industry, I fully support the responsible and moderate consumption of alcohol.  Requiring those who serve alcohol to complete certification is already something that exists in our state.

I am appalled that legislators from California would attempt to impose regulatory changes without making REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS for those who speak English as a second language.  Many state (and federal) documents, programs, info pamphlets, etc are multi-lingual; why not here?

Why is the curriculum so overbearing?  Why create yet another state agency to oversee something that isn’t truly a public health crisis?  Why isn’t anyone who can go to a store and buy a beer required to complete the EXACT SAME CERTIFICATION? Technically they’re serving beer to themselves…

The ABC has fallen completely off the slippery slope.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #57

From Trevor Garrod

I’m part of a small family owned and run winery.  The new regulations as proposed would have dire consequences to our business.   Please extend the comment period so everybody has a chance to weigh in on this proposal.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #58

From Scott Hafner, Hafner Vineyard

Dear Friends at ABC,

We sincerely request additional time for comments on the above noted Rules.

We agree with the position taken by Hinman & Carmichael on this issue.

For more information, please use the link below:

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.

The referenced link was to a document that does not meet the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines for accessibility. Please email RBSTPComments@abc.ca.gov to request the attachment as a PDF document. You may visit our Accessibility page for more information.


Comment #59

From Fred Swan

Dear ABC: As currently planned, the regulations place an undue burden on low-income people, people for whom English is not their first language, and people with limited analysis and writing skills due to under-education, dyslexia, etc. The policies are a barrier to reasonably paid employment and will make it even harder for restaurants to find and retain staff.

Here are several ways this new course required by the legislature can be made accessible for all Californians:

  • The course should be available for free, in every county and municipality in the state. Aspiring restaurant servers should not have to pay a third-party company for certification. The ABC should develop a course itself, and should not charge people to take it.
  • The course should be available in multiple languages. This should be written into the regulations to ensure that people who speak Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese or other languages commonly used by California restaurant workers are able to take the test in their first language. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO HAVE GOOD COMMAND OF WRITTEN ENGLISH TO RECOGNIZE AN INTOXICATED PERSON.
  • Unless specifically ordered to by the legislature, the ABC should NOT maintain a database of the names and sensitive identification information of restaurant servers. This is unnecessary bureaucracy at taxpayer expense, and it violates the privacy of people just serving lunch for a living.
  • The requirements of the course should be re-examined to eliminate extraneous subjects that are not necessary to the main function, which is to serve responsibly and identify intoxicated people.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #60

From Molly Hill, Sequoia Grove Winery

To whom it may concern:

Please extend the comment period for the Responsible Beverage Server Training Program so that the proposed regulation can be evaluated for how it affects businesses and employees of businesses, especially small businesses.

Specifically of concern:

The department must provide more facts and evidence to support the cost and need for many of the proposed regulations

The department must look into privacy concerns of employees of businesses.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #61

From Suzy Gullett, Vino Noceto

To Whom it May Concern:

My husband and I are the owners of Vino Noceto, a roughly 10,000 case winery in the Sierra Foothills.  While we are familiar with the Responsible Beverage Act and we had all of our staff recently trained, it is only within the last 48 hours that we became aware of the ABC Proposed Regulations for the RBSTP.  We are seriously concerned with the magnitude of the changes you our proposing.  For such a far-reaching change, ABC should have engaged its stakeholders proactively.  We respectfully request additional time for comments and beg you to hold meetings to encourage a dialogue with the affected community.

Thank you for your consideration.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #62

From Bob Smith

Just back from an overseas trip and saw this. Was amazed that a new set of rules this complex would be rushed through with very little time for comment. It appears, in fact, that my email may have missed the deadline.

As an owner of a very small winery and tasting room, the requirements of these new rules would likely cause us to throw in the towel and get out of the business. This is death by a thousand cuts and regulations.

It seems that the intent of the new rules is not bad, but it is a classic case of well-meaning legislation that will lead to negative, unintended consequences.

My understanding (based on what I’ve read) is that one goal of the mandatory training and testing is to help combat drunk driving. Is drunk driving a problem? Yes, it is. No argument there.

But, the idea of creating a new “police force” to identify potential drunk drivers (at the expense of small businesses) is just not warranted. We have no issue in cutting people off or not even letting them in our tasting room if they appear to be intoxicated. But, asking us to make a judgement call like this is opening Pandora’s Box.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #63

From Robert Landers

Youth Olympic Accreditation Card Number (Accreditation Number): 1032565
Peace Palace Library Card Number: 090037646
European Commission PIC Number: 900289787
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Caesars Entertainment Corporation Rewards Number: 19604480873
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For purposes of this article, club also means any nonprofit corporation whose principal purpose is to promote cultural ties and understanding between citizens of commonwealth and citizens of the United States, which has a bona fide membership of more than 10,000 members each of whom pay regular membership dues, which owns, leases, operates or maintains an establishment for fraternal purposes in California Business and Professions Code Division I 9. Chapter 3. Article 4.23428.22. Pursuant California Business and Professions Code Division 9. Chapters 3 Article 3. 23399.(a) a caterer’s permit under an on-sale general license shall authorize the sale of beer, wine, and distilled spirits for consumption at conventions, sporting events, trade exhibits, picnics, social gatherings, or similar events held any place in the state approved by the department. California Government Code Title 20. Chapter 1. 99500.(d) states that the Secretary of State oversees the International Business Relations Program, which aims to develop stronger connections between the international business community and the state by assisting foreign business entities with the various filing processes and procedures in California.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #64

From Rob McMillan

I have grave reservations about this legislation. It stands to create hugely expensive bureaucracy to implement and enforce, and will mostly impact people in lower paid jobs in our communities who are the most vulnerable.

The goal is “to ensure effective responsible beverage service training for servers and their managers to curb harm of the overuse of alcohol in California communities.” The goal is reasonable. Is the tool to effect the goal worth the spending?

To implement this as planned, it will take a bureaucracy the size of the current DMV in cost size and complexity. Is that reasonable? There must be less costly alternatives.

Is it reasonable to have every alcohol server in the state submit personal information into an electronic database to implement as currently structured, or does every server in the state need documented training? Note that you are talking about lower paying jobs which have a disproportionately heavy number of undocumented aliens. Consider the impact on the school children of those parents who won’t submit information out of fear. Consider the cost of that on businesses that have a hard time finding competent staff.

Section 163: The course requirements are not well thought out.

Do low wage employees (some of whom have lower level educations) need to know and test out on the physiological manner in which alcohol is metabolized in order to meet the stated goal of curbing harmful use? Does a person need to be a doctor to understand someone is sick, or can people generally understand someone may be sick – and in this case, can a server understand the practical sight of someone who is drunk and stop serving them?

163 (D1 Physical Reactions) Many characteristics described for drunkenness can have other common diagnosis. Training that these conditions are signs of being overserved can could infringe on protected classes:

(A) Slurred and varied speech.     (Could be Hypothyroidism)

(B) Slow and deliberate movement        (Could be Parkinson’s Disease)

(C) Decreased alertness; and   (Could be sleep deprivation)

(D) Loss of coordination while sitting or standing.            (Could be Parkinson’s or Hypothyroidism)

(2) Physical appearance:           (Red flag for racial profiling)

(A) Red or watery eyes;       ould be allergies or a blocked tear duct)

(B) Sweating;         (Many conditions have sweating as a symptom)

(C) Droopy eyelids;

(D) Face appearing flushed or red;

(E) Disheveled clothing;     (Red flag for profiling of underprivileged)

(F) Lack of eye focus; and

(G) An odor of alcohol.

(3) Lowering of inhibitions:

(A) Overly friendly;                 (Could be someone who is friendly. Should we legislate against that?)

(B) Use of foul language;             (Could be someone who uses foul language. Younger Americans are more comfortable in the use of foul language versus older. Should we be suspicious of younger people?)

(C) Increased volume of speech; and          (Could be someone who has hearing loss which typically exhibits more in older people)

(D) Increased rate of alcohol consumption.

(4) Loss of judgement:

(A) Complaints about the strength of the alcoholic beverages being served; (Could be a valid consumer complaint. Should a patron lose the right to question serving sizes, or amount of a standard pour.)

(B) Carelessness with money;         (A sign of someone with money who is generous.)

(C) Increasingly argumentative; and          (Could be a jerk and there is no establishment that should be forced to deal with a sober jerk, let along serve them alcohol.)

(D) Makes irrational statements.           (Many medical conditions exist such as ADD, mental illness and Asperger’s Syndrome that can cause confused speech.)

The bill is overreaching, jeopardizing the employment and livelihood of millions of people in this state who serve alcohol – including winery, brewery and distillery personnel, event and catering personnel and every bartender, waiter and waitress in the state. How many thousands of people must be terminated from their employment for the business to keep it alcoholic beverage license? What does that do for those people who are making a side income to keep afloat, or someone in a full time role but a low paying job? Its hard enough in major population centers to find employees who can afford to live and work in major cities on the lower wages paid for these jobs.

The ID checking will establish as state law procedures for determining when Section 25660 (reliance upon bona fide proof of identification) may be relied upon. This affects every clerk, checker and other person in the state who sells alcoholic beverages, not just servers. Now all ID’s must be pulled out of wallets, manually examined for flaws and compared to exemplar data bases. If that is not done, the ID cannot be relied upon. Every person in a group where one person purchases alcohol will also have to be carded; upon pain of the business losing its right to sell alcohol. If this is to be the law in California it deserves to be discussed.

The new Training program regulation will require servers to now also be responsible for detecting legal or illegal drug use. This creates a whole new area of liability for servers and employers not anticipated in the Legislature’s Act; and not part of the authorizing legislation.

The new regulations expand what a server must know about the alcoholic beverage laws and alcoholic/drug use beyond what is necessary to provide responsible service and will increase the likelihood of liability on the part of the individual and the establishment. For example, in one part, the content states that “too many calls to police for service may be grounds to suspend or revoke a license”

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #65

From Barry Synaground

Please extend the time for comment on this issue

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #66

From JJ McCarthy

Dear ABC,

I OPPOSE the proposed new testing requirements for alcohol beverage service.  I believe this is unnecessary as there are already service training requirements and sufficient legal liability in place to ensure responsible beverage service.  I believe this proposed requirement is anti-job, anti-immigrant, and neo-Prohibitionary in motivation and resent that my government is attempting to add anti-business regulations without due process and appropriate public and industry input.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #67

From Patrick Miner

Dear ABC: As currently planned, these regulations are dubious at best. They will place a burden on low-income people and function as a barrier to higher-paying jobs.

Here are several ways this new course required by the legislature can be made accessible for all Californians:

  • The course should be available for free, in every county and municipality in the state. Aspiring restaurant servers should not have to pay a third-party company for certification. The ABC should develop a course itself, and should not charge people to take it.
  • The course should be available in multiple languages. (This is a standard for most California government communication, and I don’t see why your testing should be any different.) This should be written into the regulations to ensure that people who speak Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese or other languages commonly used by California restaurant workers are able to take the test in their first language. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO HAVE GOOD COMMAND OF WRITTEN ENGLISH TO RECOGNIZE AN INTOXICATED PERSON.
  • Unless specifically ordered to by the legislature, the ABC should NOT maintain a database of the names and sensitive identification information of restaurant servers. This is unnecessary bureaucracy at taxpayer expense, and it violates the privacy of people just serving lunch for a living.
  • The requirements of the course should be re-examined to eliminate extraneous subjects that are not necessary to the main function, which is to identify intoxicated people.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #68

From Tim Halikas

This is very disturbing. Servers could lose their jobs because of these regulations. Restaurants could be fined or face other sanctions. And they weren’t even asked how they could best comply with the law, AB 1221

Halt this power grab and over regulation.  More government passing laws to enslave the population for the benefit of government.   Sad !

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #69

From Michaela Marie Swensen, Martin Ranch Winery

To whom it may concern,

I have several concerns about the pending proposal for background checks and possible server training that you are proposing.

First, why the rush? You are trying to pass this without any feedback from the industry itself. This small forum that you created is not enough. We need to have a voice!

Second, most of my servers only work 10-15 hours a month. This is a huge expense for our company. We are only open 30 hours a month. There should be guidelines and or exemptions for small businesses like us.

Lastly, When will we start making adults responsible for their own choices in life? People can leave our business, go to a store and purchase more alcohol and still have an accident! Wineries are a very small part of this problem. Please reconsider not making this an “all inclusive” policy.

Thank you for listening,

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #70

From Michael Guerra, Enoteca La Storia

My name is Michael Guerra and I am one of the owners of two restaurants in the South Bay area.  

As a restaurant owner, I am strongly opposed to this ill-conceived and poorly researched bill. The ABC did NOT reach out to the main groups that will be affected by the new regulations contained within the bill: restaurant owners, restaurant managers, and restaurant employees. It places undue burden, both financial and legal, on our employees, many of whom are in entry-level positions and earning a minimum wage. An estimated 1 million Californians  — ABC’s estimate — will wake up Jan. 1 and they’ll need a new license to continue doing their jobs. And they’ll have to pass a written test to get it. AND they’ll have to pay a group of startup RBS Providers whatever fee those providers decide to charge to get it. This is not only unfair, it is unreasonable. PLEASE make sure that any proposed legislation is properly researched and fair to the people who will be most impacted by it. The ABC did not devote enough time to studying what restaurateurs and restaurant workers need to comply with AB 1221, and thus the ABC is not ready to create regulations that will be fair to all concerned.

If what you have written is true: “The Department is committed to continue to work with its stakeholders to ensure the implementation and rollout of the RBSTPA regulatory action is both seamless and as easy as possible for all parties involved.” Then the deadline for implementation should be pushed back so that we, the actual stakeholders, can participate and have a say in any legislation that is proposed.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.


Comment #71

Dear ABC,

Please extend the deadline for thie implementation of this program until restaurant owners and employees can provide sufficient input to come up with a fair and cost-effective program.

Rushing this through without their input is simply wrong.

Thanks.

ABC Response

Comments will be addressed at the end of the extended comment period.