Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 8:21 PM on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New alcohol server training announced

This month, Alaska CHARR, the leading provider of alcohol server training in Alaska since 1984, unveiled a new education program called Training for Alcohol Professionals (TAP) that is designed specifically for Alaska.

One class has already been held in Homer and another is planned for 1 p.m. May 11 at the Best Western Bidarka Inn.

For more information, visit www.alaskacharr.com.

The new course, developed by Alaska hospitality industry professionals and approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, covers topics such as responsible service techniques, how to identify intoxication and prevent drunkenness, handling difficult situations, checking identification and Alaska specific state and local laws. Training for Alcohol Professionals replaces the former program taught by CHARR, Techniques of Alcohol Management® (TAM).

"TAP stands out from other programs because it's designed specifically for Alaska, covering subjects and regulations unique to the state," said Dale Fox, president and CEO of Alaska CHARR. "A few examples of the Alaska-specific topics TAP covers include differing hours of operation around the state, the prohibition of happy hours, wine re-corking laws, local options for dry, damp and wet communities and state-required signage."

Other advantages of the locally run program include easy replacement of lost cards, and certification renewal, and will allow participants to receive certification cards at the end of class, instead of waiting up to 30 days with other programs and possibly missing work in the interim. A new state-of-the-art training center was recently built at Alaska CHARR headquarters in Anchorage that will enhance the program by supporting videos, PowerPoint presentations and interactive training to accompany the new comprehensive manual.

"It's important for servers to not only know the laws, but to practice how to enforce them. If someone has had too much to drink, helping them get a cab or refusing service is easy to say, but takes practice to execute effectively," said Fox. "That's one of the areas where the TAP program really excels."

Alaska CHARR has long pushed for strict and sophisticated alcohol training in Alaska, advocating for the state to require training for all employees involved in the service or sale of alcohol, including servers, seller, bartenders, management/supervisors and persons providing security. Currently, only six other states require a training program for everyone involved in serving alcohol. The industry's long-term commitment to training produces great results for Alaska. Alaska retailers have the best record in the nation for refusing service to underage drinkers, according to a national study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration earlier this year. The state is also frequently listed in the top tier for reducing the rate of drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

CHARR has 40 instructors from Ketchikan to Nome trained to teach the new TAP program, which became available April 1. For class schedules and locations, visit www.alaskacharr.com.

Alaska CHARR was established in 1964 to serve as the voice of hotels, restaurants and beverage alcohol retailers in Alaska. The organization represents over 600 members statewide by providing member-benefit programs, industry advocacy, government relations, server training programs and public awareness campaigns addressing responsible consumption of beverage alcohol.