ABC Commission Offers Servers, Bartenders Training to Prevent Underage Drinking
By Meg Smith
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 04:34 PM EST
WINSTON-SALEM—Each week, underage drinking kills at least two people in North Carolina.
That’s the kind of data from the state ABC Commission that is driving the agency to put its foot down and say enough is enough.
Bartenders, servers and store owners are receiving free training from the commission on North Carolina’s alcohol laws.
“We’ve been going around the state to all of the communities that have colleges in them,” said Kat Haney with the ABC Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking. “Because we are the regulatory agency around alcohol, we want to make sure, at the point of access, to educate these guys.”
“We’re a new brewery about to open in a couple of weeks, and we want to make sure we’re fully compliant with all the rules, regulations and laws of the ABC and the state,” said Britt Lytle who owns Brown Truck Brewery in High Point.
The training’s emphasis: underage sale prevention.
Servers and sellers are learning the right way to check an ID, how to spot a fake one and guidelines for sales to intoxicated consumers.
“We want to make sure we give them every trick and tool of the trade so that they can help these kids stay safe,” Haney said. “We know there’s a lot of incidents, and we want to make sure everyone in North Carolina has a chance to prevent it.”
One of the most recent involved 20-year old Asheboro native Chandler Kania.
Police say the former UNC student got drunk at two Chapel Hill bars before driving the wrong way on I-85 in Orange County causing a crash that killed three people, including a little girl.
“Unfortunately, cases like that in Chapel Hill bring this to the top of the news page, and what we’re trying to do is educate folks to prevent more of that,” Haney said.
Businesses caught selling to underage patrons face stiff penalties. An employee can be fined up to $2,000 and a business up to $5,000.
“Underage drinking is not something we want to be a part of at all,” Lytle said. “The training here will help us make sure we’re in compliance from the get-go, and we can recognize that before it becomes a problem in our establishment.”
The commission will hold its next training session in Chapel Hill on Tuesday.