wine taste pour

Serve Responsibly!

Are you certified in Responsible Beverage Service (RBS)? If not, and you missed out on the training, here’s what you missed:

If caught by the ABC for serving a minor or an intoxicated customer, here is the liability you may face:


Types of Liability

  • Criminal (Against the Server/Furnisher)
    • Fine – $250 – $1,000.
    • Community Service – 24-32 hours.
    • Jail – up to six months.
  • Administrative (Against the Licensee)
    • Fines – Range from $750 – $20,000.
    • Suspension of Licensee – loss of business/employment.
    • Revocation – out of business.

Some facts you may not know:

1. You MUST stop alcohol service to someone who appears to be intoxicated.

  • It is ILLEGAL to do so – is this statement below a fair tradeoff?

“You appear to be a bit intoxicated so I’ll just pour you one more.”

  • NO! This is illegal.  You just admitted that you identified an intoxicated customer so you legally CANNOT serve them!
  • You CANNOT provide wine to a wine club member who is intoxicated
  • If you served someone who looked fine at first and then starts to slur – you are not liable because you did not have probable cause to cease service, just DO NOT serve them anymore!


2. You don’t have to find them a ride home, although it would be a civil gesture.


3. If you sell alcohol to a minor and they are involved in a vehicle accident, you and your establishment are responsible!


4.  If you put a wristband on someone, you are not liable.  If you serve the minor with a wristband on, you ARE liable! So always check IDs even if they have a wristband or are with their parents.


5. Rule 144 of ABC: Fair Game with Decoys:

Decoys must:

  • look under 20
  • cannot lie about age, but can lie about anything else
  • cannot provide a fake ID


6. If you attended a RBS training you are eligible for mitigated penalty with proof of completion of a certified RBS Training Program.


7. 75% of all ABC violations come from the Decoy Program


8. ABC has a 3 strike policy:

  • 1st strike: $3,000
  • 2nd strike: $20,000
  • 3rd strike: Revocation



How should I politely refuse service?


“I could lose my job if I accept this ID.”

“I’m sorry, do you have anything else to support this ID?” (if answer is no, use the previous statement)

“Can I offer you something else to drink?”

“How about a lemonade instead?”

then you can follow up with: “This is all I can serve you at this time.”


fake ID

How can I identify fake IDs?


  1. Ask for ID
  2. Ask for age
  3. Check age to birthday
  4. Ask for birthday
  5. Ask for the year they graduated from high school
  6. Check the picture and height


If everything checks out – the ID looks real and they passed the question game – you are not liable!


If in doubt, DO NOT take the ID!!!


Posted by Anne Loupy

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