Does Alabama law require responsible alcohol server training?
Responsible alcohol server training isn't required by state law.
However, many employers in Alabama require it. That's because it limits their liability if an employee sells to someone they shouldn't.
Under AL Code § 28-10, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board oversees a program known as the Responsible Vendor Program (RVP). The program is voluntary, but the ABC Board mitigates administrative penalties or fines for RVP participants if an employee makes an underage sale. In fact, by law, the vendor's liquor license can't be suspended or revoked due to an employee selling alcohol to someone under 21, as long as:
- That employee has completed Board-approved RVP training
- The vendor didn't participate in or commit such violation
- The vendor had no knowledge of such violation (nor "should" they have known)
To earn and maintain this status, licensees need to:
- Ensure each employee involved in alcohol sales or service of alcohol to complete an approved alcohol education training course within 30 days of their hire date
- Submit a report of all new server, seller or manager training to the RVP office along with a fee
- Ensure all employees attend semiannual meetings that cover new and existing policies and procedures, along with other applicable subjects
- Maintain records of employee training and meeting attendance
- Post signs on the premises about the vendor's policy against selling alcohol to minors
- Renew RVP certification yearly
Note: Learn2Serve by 360training is not recognized by the Alabama ABC Board at this time.
How long does responsible alcohol server certification last?
RVP certification needs to be renewed annually, but the statute doesn't specify requirements for training renewal. Check with your employer or local liquor authority to make sure you follow their requirements.
Why should I take Alabama bartender training?
Many employers in Alabama will require alcohol server training due to the mitigating benefits of the Responsible Vendor Program.
That's important because without RVP mitigation, penalties can be tough. For selling alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons, you could face a misdemeanor punishable by an up to $1000 fine, up to a year in jail, or both.
In addition to reducing your liability and your employer's, responsible server training enables you to prevent drunk driving by teaching you how to refuse service to someone who's intoxicated.
That's important because Alabama has a significantly higher rate of drunk driving fatalities than the national average. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 3,190 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Alabama from 2003 to 2012.
What jobs can I get with my responsible alcohol server certificate?
There are many different kinds of jobs that are affected by the Responsible Vendor Program, including any position that involves serving or selling alcohol for on-premises or off-premises consumption. That includes bartenders, servers, and store clerks where alcohol is sold.
If you’re curious about how much money you can expect to make, here is some basic wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for bartenders and barbacks in Alabama:
|Job Title||Average Hourly Wage||Average Yearly Wage|
|Bartender Helper (Barback)||$9.34||$19,430|
If you are in the top 90th percentile of bartenders, you can make $14.92 an hour.
Where can I get more information about alcohol training in Alabama?
You can find more information about alcohol sales on the ABC Board’s website, including
- Fine schedules for liquor law violations
- New liquor laws passed in 2019
- ABC store locations, hours, holiday hours, and price lists