Maryland Alcohol Server Training

Does Maryland law require alcohol awareness training?

Yes. Under MD Code, Alcoholic Beverages §3–504, Maryland requires each license-holder OR one of their designated employees to complete an approved alcohol awareness program. Often, the designated employee is the highest level of management.

Please note, Learn2Serve alcohol server training is NOT approved by Maryland for licensees or their agents.

At the server level, alcohol awareness training is recommended but not regulated by Maryland. That means there are no official state "approved training providers." It's up to your employer and/or local jurisdiction to decide. 

Alcohol laws and training requirements do vary significantly at the local level in Maryland. Double check with your city, county, or employer to make sure you get the necessary training.

How long does alcohol awareness training last?

The alcohol awareness training required of licensees is valid for four years after the issue date.

For servers, renewal requirements are up to your employer or local liquor board. You'll need to check.

Why should I take Maryland alcohol server training?

If you're a licensee or designated employee, a state-approved alcohol awareness training course is required by law in Maryland.

If you're a server, your training isn't required by the state of Maryland, but it's still a good idea. Learning responsible alcohol service can protect both yourself and your employer against liability by making sure you know how to sell alcohol legally and safely.

The Maryland Comptroller's Field Enforcement Division (FED) and county liquor boards impose harsh penalties for serving minors under the age of 21 alcoholic beverages. Fines can run into the thousands and, in some cases, your establishment's license to sell alcohol may be at risk.

Alcohol server training also helps you keep customers safe from drunk driving in Maryland. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 1,716 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Maryland from 2003 to 2012.  That's lower than the national average but still far too many.

What jobs can I get with my alcohol server training?

There are many different establishments you can work at with your alcohol server training, such as:

  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Liquor stores
  • And more…

And 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 Maryland.

Job Title Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Bartender $11.30 $23,500
Bartender Helper (Barback) $11.48 $23,880

However, if you are in the top 90th percentile of bartenders, you can make much more money: $15.40 an hour.

Where can I get more information about alcohol training in Maryland?

You can find more information on alcohol sales at the Maryland Comptroller FED website, including:

  • Enforcement efforts
  • Alcoholic beverage administrative releases and bulletins
  • License and permitting information

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