Comments on RBS Pending Regulation

Comments received during the weeks of October 21, 27, and November 4, 2019.

Comments 102 through 108 were received after the public comment period for the first round was closed and will be available in the regulatory package with the Office of Administrative Law.

Comment #109

From Karen Robinson-Stark, Stark Spirits

TITLE 4. DEPARTMENT OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL PROPOSED REGULATIONS

Text of modified proposed adopted language.

ARTICLE 25
Responsible Beverage Service Training Program

Authority cited: Sections 25680-25686, Business and Professions Code.

§160. Responsible Beverage Service Training Program.

(b) Definitions for use in this article and in interpreting and enforcing Business and Professions code §§ 25680-25686.(10) “Onsite” for the purposes of Business and Professions Code § 25682(c) means being engaged and directly overseeing the service of alcohol for consumption by any persons on behalf of the nonprofit organization licensee. This includes, but is not limited to, creating and imparting responsible beverage service policies to the other persons serving alcoholic beverages for consumption at the event.

Hello. The subsection (10) above is not clear. It is the only time “nonprofit organization licensee” is mentioned in the entire document. Throughout the document otherwise, all references are just to on-site licensed premises. I think it would be clearer to state that the regulations apply to both non-profit on-site premises and for-profit on-site establishments. Either that, or just don’t mention non-profits at all. If the regulations apply to anyone who holds an on-site license, well there you are. All-encompassing language.

However, subsection (10) includes the wording “serving alcoholic beverages for consumption at the event” which seems to imply something different than applying these regulations to the VFW and the Elks Lodges that have on-site alcohol service to the general public. What degree of complexity is required for non-profit one-day licensed events? It is not addressed anywhere in the document. Is the implication that anyone who serves alcohol at a non-profit one-day event must have the certification required by these regulations of on-site alcoholic beverage businesses? Will non-profit organizations that have little to do with alcohol beverage service beyond their infrequent fundraisers be required to develop their own specific policies? Or, will the one-day license now include a handout with the substance of the regulations described relatively succinctly? That would be a good idea if there’s an intent to regulate the one day license fundraisers.

ABC Response

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

Comment #110

From Alex Lum, The Laguna Playhouse

I have a question about the mandatory training beginning July 1, 2021. I thought I have read that all the current RBS training is not valid/compliance with the new bill. Is that correct? And we need to have a new certificate with an accredited training program?

ABC Response

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

Comment #111

From Robert Landers

Pursuant 27 USC § 121. all fermented, distilled, or other intoxicating liquors or liquids transported into any State or Territory or remaining therein for use, consumption, sale, or storage therein, shall upon arrival in such State or Territory be subject to the operation and effect of the laws of such State or Territory enacted in the exercise of its police powers, to the same extent and in the same manner as though such liquids or liquors had been produced in such State or Territory, and shall not be exempt therefrom by reason of being introduced therein in original packages or otherwise. The Secretary of State is authorized to establish a program to conduct rule of law training and technical assistance related to development of the legal system and civil society generally in the People’s Republic of China as provided in 22 USC § 6981.(c). For all purposes, including actions in any court in the United States, the Congress approves the continuation in force on and after July 1, 1997, of all treaties and other international agreements, including multilateral conventions, entered into before such date between the United States and Hong Kong, or entered into before such date between the United States and the United Kingdom and applied to Hong Kong, unless or until terminated in accordance with law in 22 USC § 5721.(b). Please see attached.

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 #112

From Sean Kiley, Hinman & Carmichael

Attached is the comments letter from John Hinman and Barbara Snider.

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 #113

From KC

On behalf of the hundreds of alcohol beverage manufacturers, distributors, consultants, vendors to the industry and the retailers that we represent, and have represented over time, we second the Hinman and Carmichael concerns on these proposed regulations which are set forth, in part, as follows.

  1. “The proposal creates a new state bureaucracy (one that will rival the DMV for cost, size and complexity) where millions of alcohol servers in the state must submit personal information to a state data base where the privacy protections are unclear….
  2. Even though the ABC will accredit different companies to provide the training, the ABC still insists the final examination will be conducted only by the ABC and certification will only be issued by the ABC. The ABC’s proposed database will hold all the personal information on each beverage server in the state. We proposed to have the accredited training providers administer the final examination and keep the certification for each server passing the exam….
  3. Employee privacy issues with the private information of every beverage server in the state being held by the ABC on a new database. The regulations require each server to register with the ABC and provide(1) legal name, (2) birthdate, (3) email, (4) zip code of current address, and (5) personal identification information (driver’s license, social security number, or similar employment identification number)…
  4. The current course requirements expand five general subjects listed in the legislature’s Act to require actual detailed course content for each subject. This was not the intent of the RBS bill. Our proposed regulations simplify the course requirements and return them to what the legislature mandated. 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…
  5. The section of the curriculum on ID checking will establish as state law procedures for determining when Business & Professions Code 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. ..”

ABC Response

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

Comment #114

From Lakenda Wallace, Delicato Family Wines

There are some issues with the new code, which does go far beyond the requirements of the legislation passed.

Please note, that a parent having dinner with their children should not be subjected to watching their 19 or 20 year old get carded because the parent has chosen to have a glass of wine with dinner. Now, your new regulations assumes the parent breaking the law by giving alcohol to the underage minor. It is unnecessary and feels like you are unnecessarily asking other people to check the personal information of everyone I am with.

Also, if ABC is the only final test giver will there be multiple locations offering various days and times for the test to be given? Are you now risking the livelihoods of those not making enough to live in many Bay Area cities to not lose time and work because of the possible schedule conflicts and issues getting to test sites? If the tests are given by accredited schools that are teaching the class, then you know students can reach the facilities and have schedules that work for taking the test. As it is the additional costs of the class and now the test separately is a financial burden for many as well as a time and commute issue.

The idea is to help servers and consumers, however, the current system sounds like a power grab and a means of creating income for the ABC while invading privacy of servers and customers.

This legislation actually needs to be revisited against your proposed code. And listening to those involved in the industry who deal with this everyday seems like a no brainer.

ABC Response

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

Comment #115

From Manny Espinoza, Wine & Spirits Wholesales of CA inc

Our comments enclosed.

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 #116

From D. Scot,

PLEASE STOP OVERREACHING!

I am a small business owner. I hold an ABC license. My revenues are not significant…I can’t afford third party services to decipher and manage the tangled web of existing Federal, Local and State compliance reporting. I do my best to file the proper reports at the proper times with the seemingly never-ending flow of associated checks being written. In it’s current state, maintaining compliance is hours a month for me. These are after-hours. That is, time spent away from my family after the business is long closed for the day. Just to maintain the legal ability to be able to open my doors the next day.

I mostly make a living and barely manage to keep a roof over my head here in the Bay Area as everything around us gets more and more expensive.

And here we go, trying to layer on yet another round of red tape and expense for a small business just trying to make ends meet.

PLEASE STOP.

Yes, I get it. The powers that be feel like an alcoholic beverage server training program is the bees knees. It’ll save the world. Drunk driving in California will be thing of the past, and never shall a minor taste a fermented product before the age of 21.

First…that’s completely misguided. If anything, it just enables us to better point a finger and assign blame somewhere, should there be an infraction. Because somebody else always needs to be responsible for an individual’s actions. I won’t even belabor that point as it’s sure to fall on deaf ears.

But for once, consider the actual process you’re contemplating creating. Consider the ridiculous bureaucracy this will create as currently drafted. The cost (at taxpayer and business owner expense) of creating and administering this program will far outweigh the benefit. We already live in the most expensive, most regulated state in the nation, and it’s beginning to prove that such oversight is not making this a better, cleaner, safer, utopian society to live in. We suffocating ourselves in our own web of rules.

Simplify. Please simplify. Don’t create a centralized database for people who’ve taken a class on serving alcohol. That’s absurd and micromanging society way too much. If there’s mandatory training, fine. If there’s a core curriculum that’s required, fine. Then train the trainer. Allow people to be certified to give the course. And accept their certification that a stutent took and passed the requirements. And leave it at that. Anything beyond that is overkill. And we really don’t need more overkill in California.

Signing this anonymously for fear of repurcussion. (because, again, California has taken to reaching so far that I just don’t trust anymore that I can even safely express my opinion without fear of retaliation)

ABC Response

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

Comment #117

From Gordon Merrick, Adobe Hill Farms

Please take the intent of the bill into account and create a system which does not require more and more administrative layers to an already paper-heavy industry.

The intent of the bill was to create an environment to protect people who don’t/won’t/can’t protect themselves. These regulations only will cause more consternation and cost for an industry (winemaking) that already has very small profit margins and a very limited labor pool.

Thank you for crafting this bill and collecting and integrating public input. The State has a unique opportunity to incorporate public health into the rules to make this regulation impactful and effective in reducing the community consequences of alcohol, improving business practices of licensees, and enhancing community wellbeing.

ABC Response

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

Comment #118

From Ed Hale

Let me get this straight. Once again, a minimum wage employee working one or two days a week pouring wine at a small family winery, will need to become a police force of one, evaluating the legality of the document provided by a person proving their age. Additionally, in a group of say 8 or 10, each and every ID will need to be evaluated. This could take 15 or 20 minutes and leave the server liable if someone has a cleverly modified ID that is undetectable to the server.

Additionally, I can see the law suites already forming for mistakenly refusing service to someone that might have a speech impediment that is mistaken for a drug or alcohol induced slur. This well intended law goes way beyond reasonable and will create a nightmare of litigation and unnecessary control… another nail in the coffin of the anti-business era of California.

ABC Response

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

Comment #119

From John Mendel, Devils Creek Distillery

I have to tell you that the proposed “certification” of beverage servers is a gross abuse of the original intent of this bill.Below are my comments

Concern 1

the proposal creates a new state bureaucracy (one that will rival the DMV for cost, size and complexity) where millions of alcohol servers in the state must submit personal information to a state data base where the privacy protections are unclear.

ABC Response

No changes made. The alternatives of the certificate information being maintained by either the individual licensee or his/her employer were rejected. Our proposed regulations do away with the state-mandated data base and instead require the records to be kept by the accredited training agencies, the individual employer and the individual. That was rejected.

Concern 2

Even though the ABC will accredit different companies to provide the training, the ABC still insists the final examination will be conducted only by the ABC and certification will only be issued by the ABC. The ABC’s proposed database will hold all the personal information on each beverage server in the state. We proposed to have the accredited training providers administer the final examination and keep the certification for each server passing the exam.

ABC Response

No changes made. The ABC wants complete control over giving the final examination and the certification for each beverage server; regardless of the cost, the potential confusion and bureaucratic delays.

Concern 3

Employee privacy issues with the private information of every beverage server in the state being held by the ABC on a new database. The regulations require each server to register with the ABC and provide(1) legal name, (2) birthdate, (3) email, (4) zip code of current address, and (5) personal identification information (driver’s license, social security number, or similar employment identification number).

ABC Response

The ABC slightly revised requiring every server to provide private information by modifying the 5th requirement to providing only the last four digits of the identification information. This minor change does not change that the reality ABC intends to keep private information for every server in the state in its own new database.

Concern 4

The current course requirements expand five general subjects listed in the legislature’s Act to require actual detailed course content for each subject. This was not the intent of the RBS bill. Our proposed regulations simplify the course requirements and return them to what the legislature mandated. 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.

ABC Response

The ABC basically ignored the petitions to simplify the course curriculum and made only a very minor change that resolves none of the concerns. The curriculum still requires detailed knowledge of how alcohol passes through the body absorption rates, is metabolized by the liver, specific effects on the central nervous system, different symptoms at different Blood Alcohol Concentration levels and the effect of medications on alcohol consumption.

Concerns 5

The section of the curriculum on ID checking will establish as state law procedures for determining when Business & Professions Code 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. We deleted this requirement and left it to current law.

AND: The new Training program regulation will require servers to now also detect 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. We modified this requirement to require “reasonable” belief that the patron is incapacitated.

Stop this abuse now!

ABC Response

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

Comment #120

From Molly Hill, Sequoia Winery

I have the following concerns about AB 1221:

  1. Concern: the proposal creates a new state bureaucracy (one that will rival the DMV for cost, size and complexity) where millions of alcohol servers in the state must submit personal information to a state data base where the privacy protections are unclear.
  2. Concern: The ABC’s proposed database will hold all the personal information on each beverage server in the state. I support the idea of having the accredited training providers administer the final examination and keep the certification for each server passing the exam.
  3. Concern: Employee privacy issues with the private information of every beverage server in the state being held by the ABC on a new database. The regulations require each server to register with the ABC and provide(1) legal name, (2) birthdate, (3) email, (4) zip code of current address, and (5) personal identification information (driver’s license, social security number, or similar employment identification number).
  4. Concern: The current course requirements expand five general subjects listed in the legislature’s Act to require actual detailed course content for each subject. This was not the intent of the RBS bill. Our proposed regulations simplify the course requirements and return them to what the legislature mandated. 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.
  5. Concerns: The section of the curriculum on ID checking will establish as state law procedures for determining when Business & Professions Code 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. I support deleting this requirement and leaving it to current law.
    AND: The new Training program regulation will require servers to now also detect 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. I support the modification of this requirement to require “reasonable” belief that the patron is incapacitated.

ABC Response

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

Comment #121

From Lindsay Pomeroy, Master of Wine

I recently read your article about this unfair and unreasonable new act. I teach wine classes and my small business as a sole prop will be affected. When do we have to do this course? I can’t just shut down my schedule while I wait for classes to start. This is ridiculous and unreasonable.

ABC Response

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

Comment #122

From Kathy Spallas, Family Winemakers of CA

I’ve attached a 2 page letter from Family Winemakers of CA regarding the Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training regulations comment period which is open until today at noon.T

hank you for the opportunity to submit our comments on this topic.

Please let me know if you have any issues with this transmission.

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 #123

From Eric Morcus, Kaiser Grille Palm Desert

I beg you as a seasoned restaurateur with over 300 employees to reconsider this very stringent training program.

As the chairman of the board of the Palm-Desert area Chamber of Commerce, I also ask you to reconsider that on behalf of us.

The ABC Proposed Regulations for the RBS Training Program go far beyond the intent of the law and could put many long-term employees out of work if unable to pass an exam (with a 70% passing score) – an exam that requests knowledge outside the purpose of the act. [See Title 4 Attachment; Sections 162 – 166.]

ABC Response

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

Comment #124

From Alex Bernardo, Vineyard Gate Selections, LLC

We wish to express our objections to:

  1. The collection of private information as this infringes on our privacy and that of our staff.
  2. The specifics of ID checking that would force us to check for flaws and to check with a database.
  3. The course requirement determining legal or illegal drug use.

ABC Response

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

Comment #125

From Dave Corkill, Cinema West

Our business operates multiple locations with 16 ABC Type 41 and Type 47 licenses.

We appreciate that ABC is obligated to implement AB 1221, however, please approach implementation responsibly. Your website projects ABC will be responsible for certifying over 100,000 California servers. I must conclude that the newly proposed ABC rules and curriculum will cause unwarranted litigation and force licensees to require RBS training for far more employees and extend employer liability to those employees.

Is it ABC’s goal to create a bureaucracy to oversee more than one-million employees of ABC licensees? It shouldn’t be and I request that you approach this responsibly and to the letter of AB 1221, not such an expanded interpretation.Please listen to your licensees and redraft the proposed rules and curriculum to reflect AB 1221’s intent.

ABC Response

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

Comment #126

From Tyler Blackney, Wine Institute

Please find attached our comments to the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program modified regulations dated October 18, 2019.

Wine Institute supports the proposed modifications to the regulations that effectively address some of the concerns we brought forward in previously submitted comments. Among these, the modifications to the text clarify to whom the new requirements apply, better define what a “standard drink” means, and clarify that the curriculum topics shall not be interpreted as imposing new requirements on licensees.

As stated previously, the new requirements will impose new costs and requirements on the 3,900 bonded wineries in California. Thus, while we are appreciative and supportive of changes that ABC has recently proposed to the regulations, we nonetheless are compelled to continue our request for changes to issues that the recent set of revisions did not address. Among these changes is that the regulations should offer flexibility in the training curriculum so that training can be tailored to fit the specific needs of winery tasting rooms, the curriculum should be narrowed to avoid unnecessary training, confusion and potential liability, and ABC should provide guidance on how the proposed requirements interact with existing training programs. Therefore, we respectfully submit the following attached comments.

If you should have any questions, feel free to reach out to Tim Schmelzer or Tyler Blackney at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

ABC Response

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

Comment #127

From Luan & John Mendel, Devils Creek Distillery

I am writing in regard to the expansion of regulations in AB1221 proposed by the ABC. As a family-owned and operated craft distillery, we wholeheartedly support the original intent and guidelines in the 2017 RBSTP legislation. We cannot, however, support the needless levels of bureaucracy, the invasion of employees’ privacy by mandating that a third party hold their personal information, and the scientific training your agency has proposed for those who serve alcohol at any level whatsoever, including volunteers at charity events. The regulations you are proposing will create a Big Brother state that places a new financial burden on businesses such as ours, discourages individuals from seeking work across a huge swath of our state’s economy, and contributes to the negative business environment California is becoming infamous for.

Again, we firmly support the regulations outlined in AB1221, but we respectfully request that the ABC reconsider its proposed expansion of those regulations. We hope to see a simplified training program and requirements that will fulfill the intention of the Act without putting us out of business.

“Support the Hinman & Carmichael LLP comments and revisions”

This will help establish the record for a later lawsuit should the ABC not listen.

Thank you and I hope you will please consider.

ABC Response

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

Comment #128

From Daniela Devitt, Fair Play Winery Association

As a winery owner, operator, Fair Play AVA, and President of the Fair Play Winery Association on behalf of 25 winery owners would like to add to comments concerning the newly considered RBSTPA regulatory actions. We echo many of the same sentiments as other wineries you have heard from.

Although, ABC has been considering these changes for quite some time, and you have notified the stakeholder you have not given thought to small business winery owners that have part time staff that are seasonal with high turn over. You have not given our stakeholders enough notice of these possible changes, certainly you can understand how this is not sufficient notice; notifying large organizations is not the same as notifying individual stakeholders, and although some stakeholders did know that ABC was considering changes to regulations concerning this issue, the details of the changes have just very recently been made available to us.

The ABC’s new regulations are going to be a huge overreach, which will not address the issue in a useful manner. It will also be punitive and prohibitively expensive. The concern is that this proposal creates another new bureaucracy, to add to the already extensive list of government oversight bureaucracies we deal with and treats all stakeholders the same. It will cause widespread unemployment; the requirement to pass an academic level class by 70% or higher is out of reach for many. The expense will be huge as many of the employees are not able to pay for this training the burden will be on the small business owner

Our Fair Play Winery Association implores that you reconsider these changes. They will be especially burdensome for those of us who are small businesses, small family wineries, mom and pop stores, and so on, who are already stretched to the limit. Surely, we can find a solution that does not require hurting the businesses that support ABC in many ways.

ABC Response

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

Comment #129

From KC Branch Firm

I, on behalf of the hundreds of wineries that I represent hereby submit the following from wine institute and second its contents.

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 #130

From Patricia Breslin, Greater Palm Springs Bar and Restaurant Organization

The Notice of Modification to Text of Proposed Regulations states that the ABC has made the following change:

(2) “Affirming that the curriculum standards for RBS training courses in sections 162-166 will not add new duties or change existing duties to licensees concerning the service of alcoholic beverage for consumption to patrons.”

The modification in Section 161. (d) of the Responsible Beverage Service Training Course General Requirements – Title 4 states:

161.(d) None of the curriculum topics described in California Code of Regulations Title 4 162 – 166 shall be interpreted as imposing new or changing existing requirements on licensees, but instead only define course content requirements for RBS training courses.

That statement is naïve and premature – considering the impact the Curriculum Requirements presented in the proposed adopted language of the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program are bound to have if the current course requirements are not simplified. Passing the final examination should be relevant to the goals of the ACT. The current proposed curriculum expands the five (5) general subjects in the legislature’s Act to require actual detailed course content for each subject – freezing in place the regulation content regardless of future developments, making passing the exam more difficult than it need be, and jeopardizing the employment and livelihood of millions of people in this state who serve alcohol.

The purpose of AB 1221 is to prevent serving alcoholic beverages to intoxicated persons, to control how much is served to a person to reduce instances of drunk driving and to prevent sales of alcoholic beverages to minors. SIMPLE. The proposed test curriculum requires detailed knowledge of how alcohol passes through the body – absorption rates, how it is metabolized by the liver, effect of medications, etc. This knowledge is unnecessary for a server to have reasonable belief that a patron is or is not incapacitated.

There is still time to simplify the current proposed curriculum and prevent any unintended consequences.

ABC Response

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

Comment #131

RECEIVED AFTER THE PUBLIC Comment PERIOD ENDED

From Neil Pearlmutter, Santa Rosa Cinemas

Good afternoon. Please see the attached regarding AB1221.

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 #132

RECEIVED AFTER THE PUBLIC Comment PERIOD ENDED

From Caitlin Wyatt, Littorai Wines

My name is Caitlin and I work with a small family-owned winery in Sonoma County. My fellow colleagues and I have put together comments that we would appreciate if you would read in regards to the proposed ABC regulation for alcohol beverage server training.

Caitlin Wyatt – Office Administrator at Littorai Wines

As a native Tennessean, I am very familiar with regulations requiring hospitality staff to attend an alcohol beverage training program and obtain special certification to pour alcohol. As a professional server, bartender, and sommelier for years, I can honestly say that the alcohol training program and certification I received from classes such as TIPS, ServSafe, and Aim to Serve do very little in actually preventing guests from getting intoxicated. The reality of serving alcohol in restaurants and other businesses is very different from the fictionalized scenarios in which you are trained. Learning scientific information about how people’s bodies regulate alcohol is pointless when you have no idea what that person was doing and drinking prior to them stepping foot in your establishment. With this said, I do think that alcohol training can be extremely beneficial to younger servers and should be incentivized as an online certification one would be proud to display on their resume rather than a mandatory for-profit certification.

Many people working in the hospitality industry survive paycheck to paycheck and this is just an additional cost which will be a burden financially and with their time. Mandating an in-person class is taking away from time they could be working and getting paid. The gas money spent travelling to the class then the ABC office, lost wages and tips from missing work, and the fees associated with the training program and permit may be an insignificant amount for someone employed by the ABC Board, but will be, without a doubt, taxing on an individual working in the hospitality industry. Let alone the working class persons who live in remote areas without access to nearby training programs and ABC offices. Requiring people to travel first to the training program and then to take an ABC administered test at a separate location is not only a waste of an individual’s time and money, but also impacts our environment with additional emissions. Even the state of Tennessee, knew it was inefficient and costly to separate their training program from the administered test, and offer it at the same time with the proctor submitting your server application to the ABC Board, a move that I would hope the California ABC Board would contemplate.

I see this proposed regulation for what it truly isa way to profit with mandatory fees and provide little tangible benefits for the entire hospitality industry.

Sam Ecenia – Assistant Winemaker at Littorai Wines

AB 1221 would put considerable stress and economic pressure on the operations of our small family run winery. While working to comply with all the other ABC, TTB, and various other compliance agencies, it can sometimes feel that remaining compliant is my central job. It is not. Though I believe in reducing the amount of alcohol related accidents, I don’t see mandatory trainings and expensive penalties as any sort of solution. The small businesses of Sonoma have had enough strain due to floods and fires and do not need additional time consuming/expensive trainings to their burdens.

Alissa Erlendson – Director of Operations at Littorai Wines

  • Since this would affect far too many people in the alcohol industry (far more than 1 million, some Starbucks now serve Beer & Wine!) it comes off as a scheme for the government to just make money.
  • I can see owners/managers being required to do something like this (which owners are already required to have an ABC permit) so they can then train their staff. Why isn’t the regular RBS training enough??
  • If they’re going to take it this far, why not include liquor convenience stores? How is selling a bottle of vodka to an intoxicated person at a store any different than serving them a drink at a bar? It actually seems worse.
  • Maybe they can instead target areas where there are high rates of DUI or areas where excessive drinking is reported regularly.
  • The employer should be the only ones with the personal information for their staff on file who is required to be certified. This way there is no additional database and the employer can be held accountable to have all appropriate information on file for the employees (like they already do/are).
  • The recent change in CA law regarding Sexual Harassment training should be how they treat this alcohol beverage training certificate.

ABC Response

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