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Placer County alcohol sales classes are ticket to avoiding violations

Police hope more citations lead to higher turnout
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is offering free training to businesses with alcohol licenses, and it hopes for high turnout after a recent countywide enforcement effort led to more than two dozen businesses being cited.

It is the educational facet that follows a months-long crackdown by Placer County law enforcement agencies that issued 27 alcohol sales to minors tickets. Both efforts were funded by a grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

“Due to the number of violations that we’ve had within the county, we’re hoping for a higher attendance this year,” Placer County Sheriff’s Deputy Gregg Hopping said.

The sheriff’s office is offering Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs, or LEAD, training on two dates: March 11 at the Roseville Police Department’s community room, 1051 Junction Blvd.; and April 1 at the Auburn Justice Center community room, 2929 Richardson Drive.

The classes run noon to 4 p.m. and are limited to 50 people. To reserve a space, contact Hopping at (530) 308-1547 or ghopping@placer.ca.gov.

LEAD is a free, voluntary prevention and education program for retail licensees, their employees and applicants.

While the turnout in Tahoe last year was “overflowing,” the Auburn program lacked attendance, Hopping said.

“I think we’re going to see differently this year,” he said. “I think our numbers will be up.”

He said businesses need to be more “vigilant” in checking that customers have proper identification and recognizing when selling alcohol to someone would be considered overserving.

“Those that have been educated who receive this training are more vigilant,” Hopping said. “Because they understand they can be, and will be, held liable for violations. So, automatically they operate with more concern.

“The feedback we’ve heard from individuals who have obtained the training is very positive in that it has changed the way they are operating or serving.”

Some of the topics that are covered include: overservice, indentifying underage customers, checking identification and identifying problem drinkers, he said.

Overserving is a “major issue” and pertains to more than just bars and restaurants, Hopping said.

“Even in a liquor store if you have someone who comes in belligerent and intoxicated, that would be overservice – a problem drinker,” he said.

As much as it’s about protecting the customer, it’s about protecting those on the other side of the counter.

“This class is designed to really give the server some tools, some guidelines to work by,” Hopping said, “so that it protects them for civil liability, criminal liability. If they follow some of the rules provided by ABC, then they’re safe and the community is safe. It makes for a better environment in the public for the consumption of alcohol.”

 

Jon Schultz can be reached at jons@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews