Responsible Beverage Service

Alcohol is a potent drug. Reduce your customers' risk by adopting strong policies & procedures.

Alcoholic consumption is an accepted part of our society. For many, it’s a staple at celebrations all kinds – weddings, anniversaries, graduations, coming of age events. It comes in a wide variety of flavors, types, and strengths, and is made by cultures around the world. People experience alcohol differently: Some find light drinking enjoyable and festive; others never touch alcohol, and others find that when they start, they can’t stop.

Legal for adults 21 and over, and by far the most widely used non-medicinal drug, it is also a leading cause of death and injury in the United States.

Health Effects of Alcohol Use

Alcohol is toxic to the body, both in large quantities consumed in a short time and in moderate amounts consumed regularly over a long period of time. Alcohol is associated with liver disease, cancers of the digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, pancreas, intestine) and with breast cancer in women. Consumed in sufficiently large quantities in a short time, it depresses breathing, interferes with cardiovascular and brain function, and may cause death.

How much is too much?

Get tips on cutting back or quitting alcohol:

Rethinking Drinking

Minimizing Risk

For that reason, minimizing the risk from alcohol is really important. There are several ways to do that:

🚫 No kids allowed

Treat alcohol as an adult-only beverage. It is legal for people 21 and older. Restricting access to alcohol by younger adults, teens, and children help prevent alcohol-related harm – including bingeing, alcohol dependence, alcohol-related violence, and other substance use in adulthood.

☝ Keep it to one

Restrict your drinking to 1 drink per day if you’re a woman, 2 drinks per day if you’re a man. Consuming food when you drink reduces your risk.

🛑 Be safe — don’t drive

If you are going to be drinking away from home, be sure to have a plan for a safe ride home.

⏰ Take a break

If you consume alcohol regularly (daily) take time off from alcohol–at least a day or two a week.

💊 Know the interactions

If you take medication, ask your medical provider about interactions with alcohol. Alcohol may reduce the effect of your medication.

🙅‍♂️ Don’t mix it up

If you use other substances, such as cannabis, be aware that using alcohol and other drugs together may increase your inebriation or incapacitation.

🤔 Be aware

Be aware of your drinking patterns and how alcohol consumption affects your relationships, your work, your leisure time, and your goals. If you think alcohol is having a negative impact, think about cutting back or stopping.

For Alcohol Service

Responsible beverage service starts with recognizing that alcohol is a potent drug that alters people’s physical, mental, and emotional states. As a licensed alcohol purveyor can reduce risk by adopting policies and procedures that help keep your customers safe. Always follow the law.

Training & Classes

Make sure all beverage service employees take the Department of Liquor Control’s licensee training for the appropriate class:

Have questions?

Find information on retailing responsibly and on-premise beverage service:

Responsible Retailing Forum (RRForum)

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