How do I get my Iowa I-PACT certificate?
Getting your I-PACT certification is quick and easy in Iowa. Just complete a short state-provided training program online and pass the final exam. You'll get a certificate of completion right away. Your employer can also check your certification status online through the I-PACT website.
Please note, Learn2Serve alcohol server training is NOT recognized by Iowa ABD. Neither is any other online training aside from the free state-provided training. Don't let unscrupulous training providers convince you otherwise!
Does Iowa law require alcohol server training?
Alcohol server training isn't required by state law, but many employers in Iowa require it. That's because it limits their liability if an employee sells to someone they shouldn't.
Under Iowa Code §123.50 and 123.50A, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) provides an alcohol compliance training program known as the I-PACT. The program is voluntary, but the law allows establishments to use I-PACT training as an affirmative defense against sale-to-minor penalties as long as the:
- Minor is 18 or older
- An employee who commits the violation is I-PACT certified before the offense occurs
- The establishment hasn't used this defense for the previous four years
It's worth noting that I-PACT only protects the business—you, as an employee, are still subject to a fine. Your I-PACT certification will also be revoked, but you can become recertified by repeating the course.
In addition to the free online training provided by ABD, Iowa recognizes some in-person training programs for supplemental alcohol training.
Note: Learn2Serve by 360training is not recognized by Iowa ABD.
I-PACT certification is valid for two years (unless you're convicted of certain legal violations).
Why should I take Iowa alcohol server training?
Many employers in Iowa will require or encourage I-PACT alcohol server training due to the mitigating benefits of the program. Being I-PACT certified may make it easier to get hired.
But even if your employer doesn't require it, you should take the course for yourself. It's free through the Iowa ABD, and you'll learn how to comply with Iowa liquor laws (especially avoiding sale to minors).
That's important because the first time you get caught selling alcohol to a minor—even by accident, and even by an enforcement compliance check—you'll owe a $500 criminal fine. That's almost 50 hours of bartending at Iowa's average hourly wage.
Subsequent violations only get worse. If the sale results in someone's serious injury, you can be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor; in their death, a Class D felony.
Aside from protecting yourself and your employer from legal liability, learning safe and legal alcohol service can help you protect the general public from drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 968 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Iowa from 2003 to 2012. By learning how to recognize and refuse service to intoxicated persons, you can help reduce future fatalities.
What jobs can I get with my I-PACT certification?
I-PACT training is recommended for anyone who sells or serves alcohol for on- or off-premises consumption. That includes bartenders, wait staff, store clerks, and more.
There are a variety of establishments where you can use your I-PACT training, from bars and restaurants to grocery stores and convenience stores.
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 Iowa.
|Job Title||Average Hourly Wage||Average Yearly Wage|
|Bartender Helper (Barback)||$9.61||$20,000|
Where can I get more information about alcohol training in Iowa?
You can find more information about alcohol sales on the ABD’s website, including:
- Search licenses or public records
- Submit questions about Iowa laws or administrative rules
- See the latest advisory and regulatory bulletins