Owner/manager training for the PLCB’s Responsible Alcohol Management Program will take place on February 29, 2012, at IUP’s Northpointe campus.
Selling alcohol today is a lot more complicated than just knowing how to mix a good kamikaze or remembering which beers are on special. If you or your employees serve alcohol to a minor or visibly intoxicated patron, the results could be serious. Not only could you face administrative and criminal fines and penalties, but you could also be sued in civil court for damages that person might cause after leaving your establishment.
The Responsible Alcohol Management Program (RAMP) was created by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to help licensees and their employees serve alcohol responsibly. RAMP offers practical advice for licensees operating restaurants, hotels, clubs, distributors, and even special occasion permit holders.
RAMP explains how to:
- Detect signs of impairment and intoxication and effectively cut off service to a customer who has had too much to drink
- Identify underage individuals and deter minors from coming into your establishment in the first place
- Detect altered, counterfeit, and borrowed identification
- Avoid unnecessary liability
- Help reduce alcohol-related problems (underage drinking, vehicle crashes, fights, etc.) in your community
What Does RAMP Consist Of?
Legislation enacted June 18, 2001, established a voluntary Responsible Alcohol Management Program certification that provides incentives for licensees who participate. Act 26 of 2006 mandates RAMP for any licensee found guilty of sales to minors or visibly intoxicated persons. RAMP is the umbrella used to describe this collection of training and resources available to licensees and their employees. Completion of the program provides certification for two years. In order to comply, you must complete all parts of the program, which includes: Owner/Manager Training, Server/Seller Training, New Employee Orientation, Signage, and Certification Compliance Visit.
- Owner/Manager Training: This component consists of training, but focuses on those most responsible for determining daily operations and policies—the owner and manager. In order to comply, an owner and/or manager of record must attend a free training session offered by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. These trainings are offered at various centrally located sites.
- Alcohol Server/Seller Training: This component consists of training for a licensee’s alcohol service staff (this includes anyone who serves alcoholic beverages and/or check IDs). In order to comply, at least 50 percent of the licensee’s alcohol service staff must complete this training program, and this percentage must be maintained at all times. Upon completion of the program, employees are required to complete a course examination and must receive an 80 percent or better. This training may be conducted at the licensees’ establishment by independent trainers who have been approved by the PLCB and who appear on the list of approved trainers. It is the licensees’ responsibility to contact a trainer and make the necessary arrangements. A licensee may also choose to join an already scheduled class. In addition to the classroom setting, the PLCB recently approved this training in an online environment.
- New Employee Orientation: Orientation must be provided to each member of the licensee’s current alcohol service staff and to each new employee within thirty days of their hire. The board will provide the licensee with a checklist and appropriate learning methods, and licensees must maintain these records.
- Signage: Licensees shall be responsible for posting signs regarding responsible alcohol service. Signage will be provided by the board; however, the licensee may use other signage provided that it is equivalent in size, number, and content to the board’s. Signage must be prominently displayed so that it can be observed readily by patrons. Licensees are responsible for maintaining the signage at all times.
Note: Signage shall minimally include the following information: Acceptable forms of ID and refusal of alcohol service to minors and visibly intoxicated patrons.
- Certification Compliance Appointment and Visit: The final component consists of a compliance visit from your regional RAMP representative. After successful completion of the four above listed requirements necessary to receive official PLCB-RAMP certification, you must contact your regional RAMP representative and arrange a time and date for a visit to your establishment to review and complete the necessary documentation.
Benefits to the Licensee Include:
- Possible reduction in the fines and penalties issued by the administrative law judge to the licensee for serving a minor or a visibly intoxicated patron, so long as the licensee was in compliance with all parts of ACT 141 at the time of the violation and had no citations in the previous four years
- Possible liquor liability insurance discount
- Knowledgeable, responsible, well-trained alcohol service staff and management
- Recognition as a responsible licensee in your community.
To register for the February 29 owner/manager training session at IUP’s Northpointe campus, call 412-723-0109, or register online.