In California, where I live, it is illegal for me to be served alcohol by someone whose attire exposes the cleft of their buttocks or any portion of the female breast below the top of an areola. The establishment where I buy my alcohol is also forbidden to sell scouring pads, syringes, blowtorches, measuring scales, or any other paraphernalia that might be used in the manufacture or consumption of drugs.
The penalties for infraction of these rules are usually six months (or longer) in jail and $1,000 or more per incident for the employer running the establishment where said buttocks cleft was in view or scouring pads were sold. Individual employees of these establishments who provide alcoholic drinks to minors, regardless of whether they knew the patron was underage when they served them, may be subject to the same penalties.
These are just a few of the facts that I was required to learn in order to pass California’s new Responsible Beverage Service training and certification course, a combination of training and testing that every single person in the state of California who delivers an alcoholic drink to a patron was required to complete by 1 September this year.
Effectively, these rules cover every person working in a bar, restaurant, winery tasting room, sports venue, or entertainment facility who serves alcohol, as well as anyone who directly manages those employees. Primarily designed to curtail over-consumption of alcohol and underage drinking, the law requiring this new training was conceived of and advocated by organisations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Hospitality businesses across the state are now scrambling to comply with yet another obstacle in their path to recovery following the pandemic.
This article is my monthly column at JancisRobinson.Com, Alder on America, and is available only to subscribers of her website. If you’re not familiar with the site, I urge you to give it a try. It’s only £8.50 a month or £85 per year ($11/mo or $111 a year for you Americans) and well worth the cost, especially considering you basically get free, searchable access to the Oxford Companion to Wine ($65) and maps from the World Atlas of Wine ($50) as part of the subscription costs. Click here to sign up.