Alcohol-awareness course proposed for purveyors

November 18, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll County's Board of License Commissioners is considering designing county alcohol-awareness course for liquor license holders and their employees.

Board member John P. Buchheister Jr. proposed the course yesterday as a way of helping licensees meet the state requirement that they or one of their employees pass an alcohol-awareness course.

Currently, 19 courses in Maryland are certified by the state comptroller's office and will fulfill the state requirement. However, they are given as needed around the state, making it difficult for some licensees to participate, Mr. Buchheister said.

In addition, the courses -- which are geared for a statewide audience -- may not cover rules and regulations that affect only Carroll County, he said.

"What can we do as a board to convey the seriousness of the responsibility licensees are charged with?" Mr. Buchheister asked. "The bulk of our violations have been sales to minors."

To start the discussion, Mr. Buchheister -- a Baltimore County health teacher -- showed fellow board members a video he uses while teaching students at Randallstown High School.

The video, "Alcohol and You," discusses in detail how alcohol affects the body.

"One of the concerns the board has is the management of alcohol in establishments," said James D. Norvell, board administrator. "Waitresses, waiters and servers need to know how to tell whether someone is under the influence and whether that person should receive more alcohol."

"The question is, are you satisfied with what is currently being provided?"

Board member Romeo Valianti strongly recommended that the group continue to rely on existing courses, such as the Techniques of Alcohol Management course offered by the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association.

Most licensees and their employees are certified through that course, which costs $25 for four hours of instruction and lunch.

Mr. Buchheister said he was uncomfortable with the fact that the course is offered through alcohol distributors by an association that lobbies for the liquor industry.

"My other concern is that this is the brewers that do it [teach the course]," he said. "I don't think that's appropriate."

Eventually, board members decided to attend a beverage association course and to investigate several others to become familiar with the curricula. Meanwhile, Mr. Buchheister said he would find out what the county would need to do to create a certified program.

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