Virginia Alcohol Server-Seller Training

How do I get my Virginia alcohol server-seller certificate?

It's easy to get your alcohol server-seller training certificate in Virginia. Once you complete a state-approved program and pass the final exam, you'll get a certificate of completion immediately. You'll want to give one copy to your employer and keep one copy for yourself, in case you change jobs.

Enroll in our Virginia-approved alcohol server training course today to get started!

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Virginia Alcohol Seller-Server + Food Handler Training

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Virginia Alcohol Seller-Server Training

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Does Virginia law require alcohol server training?

Alcohol server training isn't required by state law.

However, many employers in Virginia require it. That's because it reduces their liability if an employee sells to someone they shouldn't.

Under Code of Virginia (COV) 4.1-227.E, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (VA ABC) Authority can reduce the length of suspensions or the size of a civil penalty if the licensee can demonstrate that its employees have taken Virginia-certified alcohol server/seller training. It's a program VA ABC calls the Seller/Server Training Approval Program (STAP).

Why should I take Virginia alcohol server training?

Many employers in Virginia will require alcohol server training due to mitigating benefits. Others prefer to hire someone who already has the training, because they know you're prepared for safe and legal alcohol service.

That matters because Virginia can impose harsh penalties for liquor law violations, particularly for selling alcohol to a minor.  For your employer, even a first offense is punishable by a $2,000 fine or 25-day suspension of license privileges.

The knowledge you gain from training can protect you too because you'll know how to avoid breaking Virginia ABC law. For example, employers aren't the only ones punished for selling alcohol to minors. You can face a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.

Finally, seller/server training can also protect the general public. You'll learn techniques for recognizing and refusing alcohol service to intoxicated persons, which can prevent drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 2,613 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Virginia from 2003 to 2012.

What jobs can I get with my alcohol server/seller certificate?

Virginia's STAP benefits apply to any on- or off-premises licensee, including owners of restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and convenience stores.

Training is recommended for any worker who serves or sells alcohol to the public, including bartenders, wait staff, catering staff, and store clerks, as well as their managers and supervisors.

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 Virginia.

Job Title Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Bartender $12.70 $26,420
Bartender Helper (Barback) $10.46 $21,750

However, if you are in the top 90th percentile of bartenders, you can make much more money: $19.92 an hour.

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

You can find more information about alcohol sales on the VA ABC Authority’s website.

If you are looking for more course-specific information from us check out our Virginia-approved alcohol server training.

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