FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A new California state law impacting restaurants will go into effect starting in July.
It will require all servers and bartenders to get training on responsible alcohol service, impacting thousands of workers.
The California Alcoholic Beverage Control says it is aimed at reducing overconsumption, serving minors, and limiting drinking and driving. and one restaurant owner we spoke with says he’s ready to comply.
“A lot of our employees are already starting training to make sure we will be in compliance starting July first,” the Owner of Papi’s Mexican Grill Raul Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez says he’s getting his staff ready for California’s new responsible beverage service law to go into effect.
The law makes what was once voluntary, now a requirement for every employee serving alcohol in the state.
ABC public information officer John Carr said this won’t impact stores that sell alcohol just businesses such as bars, restaurants, and wineries that serve alcohol on site.
“The law was passed after a terrible DUI crash that took the lives of two UC San Diego medical students. The hope on everyone’s part is that DUIs will drop and that the highways, streets, and roads will all be safer,” Carr said.
Carr said in Fresno county there are 910 businesses impacted by the new law and 56 thousand businesses across the entire state that will have to comply.
Employers will have to register with the ABC, enroll with a certified trainer- and have employees pass a test before they’re approved.
Gutierrez said it is a lot of work upfront for restaurants finally recovering from the pandemic, but says the benefits are there.
“I think long term it’ll be worth it. I think honestly whenever we add more paperwork, and bureaucracy, for us it may be difficult right off the bat but I think the point of us doing this program is to actually help the community and make sure we’re doing our job responsibly,” Gutierrez said.
The ABC says they will be taking an education-first approach and have not specified what kind of consequences there will be for businesses that don’t comply. By August 31, all current employees should be trained and any new employees hired after that have 60 days to complete the training.