Rhode Island bartenders are being told they must go back to school to learn about how to help prevent underage drinking and drunk driving by patrons.
The state’s servers must complete an alcohol-awareness class by April 1 if they want to be able to keep their certifications, which come up for renewal every three years.
About two-thirds of Rhode Island municipalities already require similar training for the staff of liquor licensed establishments but a new law sets forth statewide standards for the training.
The training is intended to reduce underaged drinking and drunk driving, said Brenda Amodei, the senior health promotion specialist at the state Department of Health.
“There is no one strategy that exists to solve social problems created by alcohol,” Amodei said. “While we won’t know the impact of this program for some time, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.”
Bob Hart, the owner of the Boston Bartenders School in Johnston, teaches one of the qualified training courses. “We want you to have a good time, but it is also our responsibility to make sure you get home safely, and that’s what we try to teach,” he said.
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