Monday, March 10, 2014

Can you spot a minor?

You’ve heard the old adage “looks can be deceiving,” no doubt. I know I have a hard time telling how old a young person is sometimes and not to begrudge the latest fashion trends, some of them dress far beyond their years and wear make up to make them appear much, much older. Click here to see what make up can do.

During Mardi Gras 2014, the Louisiana Alcohol Tobacco Control was out in force, particularly on the lookout for bartenders serving minors. In late February, the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) shared with members the Mardi Gras 2014 ATC enforcement notice and safety tips in preparation for the nearly one million visitors ready to descend on the Bayou State. Each year, the ATC conducts proactive visits to businesses before carnival season begins to discuss what the laws are and what the businesses can do to help serve alcohol responsibly.

Agents then look for minors in possession of alcohol before, during and after the parades. Underage individuals are sent inside the businesses located along the parade routes to try and purchase alcohol. Most of the underage operatives are 17 years old or under and are not allowed to use fake ID’s.

How prevalent was underage sales of alcohol by alcohol retailers during the 2014 Carnival Season? Of the 227 agent checks statewide, 69 total sales to minors occurred, or 30 percent. An off the cuff anecdotal response might be the sheer volume of customers and the need to service them quickly. Regardless, it takes just a moment to check an ID and the benefits of doing so far outweigh the consequences.

The LRA offers ServSafe Alcohol, a two-hour online course, available 24-7 and designed to help you serve alcohol responsibly and avoid citations, fines and possible license revocation. ServSafe Alcohol is a vital, practical and current responsible alcohol server training program that includes Louisiana alcohol regulations, including key techniques to determine the age of a guest, the reason to ID and the proper way to check an ID.

ServSafe Alcohol Online is a convenient and easy training solution that prepares bartenders, servers, hosts, bussers, valets, bouncers and front of the house staff to effectively and safely handle difficult situations in the operation.

While New Orleans is known far and wide as a city where you can get an alcoholic beverage drink with relative ease, proper training and self-policing your service is critical to reducing the percentage of those imbibing underage. 

For more information about ServSafe Alcohol, click here

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