Does Pennsylvania law require alcohol server training?
Alcohol server training isn't required by state law.
However, many employers in Pennsylvania require it because it reduces their liability in the event that an employee makes a mistake.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) oversees a program known as the Responsible Alcohol Management Program (RAMP). RAMP is a mostly-voluntary certification that provides incentives for licensees that complete all five components:
- Owner/Manager Training through the PLCB
- Server/Seller Training through a PLCB-approved training provider within six months of hire
- New Employee Orientation within 30 days of hire
- Signage addressing acceptable forms of ID and the refusal of alcohol sales to minors and intoxicated persons
- Submitting an application to PLCB
In return for being RAMP certified, an Administrative Law Judge may reduce any fines and penalties for serving a minor or visibly intoxicated person, as long as the licensee has had no citations for either offense in the previous four years. The licensee may also qualify for a discount on their liquor liability insurance.
Note: Learn2Serve by 360training is not a recognized PLCB training provider at this time.
Why should I take RAMP server training?
Many employers in Pennsylvania will require alcohol server training due to the mitigating benefits of RAMP certification. By getting RAMP certified, you might have an easier time finding a job.
RAMP seller/server training will also teach you how to comply with Pennsylvania liquor law, which could help you avoid criminal charges and civil liability. You can be criminally prosecuted for serving or selling alcohol to a minor. The fine is at least $1,000 for a first offense. Additional offenses carry larger fines and possible jail time.
Plus, Pennsylvania's Dram Shop law means licensees and servers can both be held liable for death, injury, or damage caused by a minor who was unlawfully served alcohol.
Finally, RAMP training can help you prevent drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 4,663 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2012. By practicing techniques learned in RAMP seller/server training, you can help bring that number down and make Pennsylvania roads safer.
What jobs can I get with my RAMP certificate?
If your employer wants or has to be RAMP certified, server/seller training is required for any employee who serves or sells alcohol or who checks IDs. That includes bartenders, waiters, beer distributors, salespersons, bouncers, doorpersons, and others.
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 Pennsylvania.
|Job Title||Average Hourly Wage||Average Yearly Wage|
|Bartender Helper (Barback)||$9.72||$20,210|
However, if you are in the top 90th percentile of bartenders, you can make much more money: $16.86 an hour.
Where can I get more information about alcohol training in Pennsylvania?
You can find more information about alcohol sales and the RAMP program on the PLCB’s website.