Are You Ready to Train Your Servers; It’s Going To Be Mandatory Soon

Thu, 11/07/19
By: Samantha Pungprakearti

Currently, all establishments with on-sale Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) licenses are not required to provide training to those who serve alcohol. However, ABC’s LEAD program, established in 1991, has offered a free and voluntary training program to all retail establishments.  Beginning on July 1, 2021, all on-sale licensees must provide this training to all servers and their managers.

The New Program Is Called the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program “RBS”

So, what is new about the program?

  • First, it’s mandatory. All employees who serve alcoholic beverages for consumption and the managers who supervise them, will need to have the training.
  • Second, it will be fee-based and provided by the ABC or other qualified providers. The ABC is limited to charging $15 but other providers are not so limited.
  • Third, the curriculum will be developed by the ABC to include state laws regulating the sale of alcohol, Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”) laws, the social impact of alcohol, the impact of alcohol on the body, strategies to avoid selling to underage drinkers or intoxicated people.
  • Fourth, the establishment has to keep records of the trainings and provide them to the ABC upon request.
  • Fifth, non-profits who get a daily permit to sell alcohol will have to designate someone to get the training before the event and that person must be at the event the entire time.


  • January 1, 2020 – the ABC has to create curriculum for the R.B.S. program
  • August 31, 2021 – all servers employed prior to July 1, 2021 must be trained by August 31, 2021. Any employee hired on July 1, 2021 or thereafter must have training within 60 days.

There appears to be no need to re-train while the person is still employed by the same employer.

To the extent that the LEAD program has resulted in increased education and decreased injuries and ramifications from the consumption of alcohol, the new RBS program will hopefully work to expand those positive impacts state-wide. 

Please call Samantha Pungprakearti (“poong-pre-ket”) or Dawn Ross with any employment law questions or concerns at (707) 526-4200.

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