As an alcohol permit holder, it is your responsibility to educate your employees on the importance of complying with the City and County laws regarding alcohol. According to the laws of the State of Tennessee, people under the age of 21 are not permitted to purchase or consume alcohol of any kind. Therefore, it is illegal for businesses that hold beer or liquor permits to sell alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
The consequences for selling to a minor include financial penalties up to $2000; license suspension or revocation of your alcohol permit. Below are some tips to prevent underage alcohol sales.
No ID, No Sale: It is important to establish store policies to check every customer’s identification each time alcohol is purchased. Regularly reinforce with your employees your expectations for checking ID’s, and develop consequences that are clearly communicated.
Best practice for checking IDs: It is imperative that you ask the customer to remove the ID from his or her wallet when checking the customer’s age so that you do not misread the date. It is necessary to hold the Id in your hand in order to feel for thickness, rough edges, or alterations which are present with Fake IDs.
Rewards programs: For employees who pass compliance checks or confiscate fake IDs, offer them a reward ($50-$100).
Visibly display materials: The Metropolitan Drug Commission can provide you with the window stickers, posters, buttons and other free material that will serve as a reminder and will let your customers know your business disapproves of, and will not tolerate, underage drinking.
There are also server training programs for both management and employees. The Knoxville Police Department’s TASK program offers classes at KPD every Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Even if you have already attended a server training program, a “refresher” course is a good idea.
Top Shelf Responsible Beverage Service
The Metropolitan Drug Commission, in partnership with Top Shelf Responsible Beverage Service, is now offering free DVD training toolkits to help local businesses educate their employees about proper alcohol serving laws and procedures.
A $250 value, the “Minors: Reducing a Major Liability” toolkits are distributed at no charge to local businesses by request. Each DVD kit contains important training materials including ID coders, information on state and local laws, posters, lighted magnifiers and more. Interested merchants can visit www.topshelfrbs.com to preview scenes from the DVD.
Training sessions are offered the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for off-premise sales only. However, on-premise training can be made by special arrangement. Call (865) 521-8085 with any questions or for on-premise training.
Contact trainer Diane Pierson at (865) 388-1145 for more information.
For merchant questions or requests for materials, contact Heather at *protected email*.