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Does South Dakota law require alcohol server training?

Responsible alcohol server training isn't required by state law.

However, many employers in South Dakota require it. That's because it reduces the penalty they face if an employee sells to someone they shouldn't.

Under SDCL (SD Codified Laws)  35-2-10.1, the South Dakota Department of Revenue (DOR) follows a different penalty schedules based whether or not the employee that committed the infraction has been certified by a nationally recognized training program approved by the department.

Note: Learn2Serve by 360training is not approved by the South Dakota DOR at this time.

How long does responsible alcohol server certification last?

The statute itself doesn't specify requirements for how recently the training must take place to get the benefit. Check with your employer to learn what they prefer based on their experience with the DOR.

Why should I take South Dakota alcohol server training?

Many employers in South Dakota will require alcohol server training due to the statutory mitigation of fines for underage sales.

Basically, if your employer requires everyone to be trained by a state-approved program, then you accidentally sell to someone underage, they'll pay half the total fine. For the first offense, businesses with trained employees pay $500 instead of $1,000. If a second offense occurs within 24 months, they pay $1,000 instead of $2,000.  A third violation within 24 months will result in a suspension.

Even if your employer doesn't require training, alcohol server training is worth considering, because you'll learn how to avoid breaking the law. As a server or clerk, you'll be charged with a Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor for selling to someone under 21. Your driver's license may be revoked for 30 days to one year on the first offense, and it will be revoked for 60 days to one year for the second offense.

What jobs can I get with my responsible alcohol server certificate?

Bartenders, wait staff, store clerks, and managers of businesses that have a South Dakota liquor license can all benefit from responsible alcohol server training. If the job requires you to check ID before selling or serving alcohol, alcohol server certification will help you do your job safely and legally.

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 South Dakota.

Job Title Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Bartender $10.72 $22,300
Bartender Helper (Barback) $10.49 $21,820

The top 90th percentile of bartenders make $13.25 an hour.

Where can I get more information about alcohol training in South Dakota?

You can find more information about alcohol sales on the DOR’s website.

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