03/19/06 — ABC class covers rules for serving to drinkers

View Archive

ABC class covers rules for serving to drinkers

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 19, 2006 2:01 AM

About 60 owners and managers of restaurants and bars in Wayne County recently received a refresher course on how to deal with the drinking public.

"We wanted to put the word out that the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Wayne County ABC Board want the restaurants and bars to be more responsible in their sales and service without causing problems," said Mike Myrick, the business manager for the county ABC board.

Myrick said he wanted the owners and managers to understand their responsibility in the areas of under-age sales and the drinking driver.

The hour-long class in the local ABC warehouse on Landmark Drive was taught by John Ruth, an education specialist with the state ABC Commission.

Ruth urged the owners and managers to be professional and friendly but to never serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

He said patrons should be rated in three ways: Green for those not impaired, yellow for those who are showing signs of impairment and red for those who are visibly impaired.

Ruth said restaurants and bars should have floor managers or roving employees to spot problems before they develop.

The hours of operation for restaurants and bars, Ruth said, are from noon to 2 a.m. and tables should be cleared by 2:30 a.m. If a bar operator takes a drink, he no longer can be considered an employee, Ruth said, and cannot work in the business.

Ruth urged the owners to avoid drink specials that discriminate against one segment of the customers and happy hours that encourage excessive drinking.

Those who attended the class received a certificate, and many said the class was beneficial.

Ruth, who lives in Cary, said he gives the class once or even twice a day in 54 counties, from Orange County to the coast.

With the emphasis that the ABC Commission is putting on stopping underage drinking, he said he tries to teach the class once a year in each location.

Myrick said Gov. Mike Easley has formed a commission to curb underage drinking and the state ABC Commission jumped on the bandwagon to emphasize the program as well.

The meeting also was attended by Fred Lutz, the county ABC Board chairman, and several Wayne County sheriff's deputies.