Oregon Alcohol Server Class
Oregon Alcohol Server Class
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The Problem


Responsible Drinking

Responsible drinking is an accepted social practice in the United States. Irresponsible drinking, such as drinking to excess or drinking and driving, is not. Our society is no longer willing to accept the damages, problems, and costs resulting from irresponsible alcohol consumption.

 

Alcohol abuse is the nation's #1 drug problem

 It is a major factor in crashes, drowning accidents, industrial accidents, and serious crimes including murder, suicide, assault, rape and domestic abuse.

  

  • Each year, about 5000 people under 21 die from alcohol related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning and other injuries. (NIAAA)
  • More than 190,000 people under 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol related injuries in 2008. (NIAAA)
  • In the US, excessive alcohol use is responsible for about 88,000 deaths annually and costs the US $223.5 billion in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime. In Oregon, excessive alcohol use is responsible for over 1,300 deaths and costs the state $2.8 billion annually: roughly, 33,933 years of potential life is lost each year in Oregon. (CDC. Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) [database]. Accessed Dec 13, 2013)

 

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2012, 29.1 million people had driven under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year. People who drive impaired are dangerous killers. In 2011, 9878 people were killed in the United States because of alcohol-impaired driving crashes. (CDC.gov, 2010) Drunk drivers kill and injure more people than all other violent criminals put together.

In 2012, 17.6 million Americans, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and more than seven million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent or has abused alcohol. (NCADD) 

The Solution

There is hope, however. Over twenty years ago, about 25,000 Americans were dying each year in alcohol-related crashes. That number is now down to about 10,000 due to a number of factors, such as changing attitudes about drinking and driving, lower legal BAC limits, and increased use of seat belts. One of those factors is that more and more states are requiring alcohol server education programs such as this one. Responsible alcohol service promotes responsible drinking.

Servers and establishments can be held liable for damages if they break the law, most commonly by serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person (VIP) or to a minor. The goals of the OLCC's Alcohol Server Education Program are to help you in your job as an alcohol server to realize your ability to:

1. Positively influence social behavior,
2. Reduce the number of intoxicated drivers, and
3. Reduce the deaths, injuries, damages, societal problems, and costs resulting from the misuse of alcohol.

Oregon was the first state with a mandatory Alcohol Server Education program. The idea for the program did not come from the OLCC, but came from the hospitality industry, which requested the alcohol server education law to protect alcohol servers, establishments, and society in general from the problems associated with using alcohol inappropriately. The idea behind the law is to teach alcohol servers to learn about liquor laws and to serve alcohol responsibly.

Alcohol servers are in a position of public trust to dispense a drug that we have seen can have deadly results when used inappropriately. Servers who are trained in responsible alcohol service can significantly reduce the number of intoxicated drivers and resulting lawsuits that can affect the server's and owner's finances for years.

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