Purpose of Practice

A complement to the state mandated responsible beverage service (RBS) training, the ALERT class aims to educate new and current licensees of the local, county alcohol regulations and licensing process.

Description of Practice

Filling a need for alcohol law and regulation information for new licensees, the Department of Liquor Control developed and implemented the Alcohol Law Education Regulation Training (ALERT). This three hour, twice monthly training assists individuals, both before they open a hospitality business and after, to understand the legal and social responsibilities that accompany alcohol service and sales. Meant to compliment state certification courses, the training supplements the need for county specific regulations and resources. The ALERT program is run primarily by alcohol inspectors, helping to build relationships between enforcement and the public they serve; allowing the Department of Liquor Control to be seen as an approachable resource. Along with state laws and local county regulations, the ALERT training also covers community programs, ID checking, alcohol inspections and free county resources. The training is open to all new and current licensees and their staff, at no cost.

Success or Improvements

The Board of License Commissioners, realizing the increase in knowledge of those who have attended the training, encourages completion of ALERT for new businesses and mandate it for those recently cited with alcohol citations. This educational component is a valuable reminder of both liability and the responsibility alcohol retailers have to public safety. Selling alcohol to a minor is a criminal penalty. The Montgomery County District Court handles cases involving sellers and servers of alcohol who failed compliance checks; for illegally selling alcohol to minors under the age of 21. Understanding that store clerks are the first line of defense in reducing illegal alcohol sales, District Court judges often mandate the completion of ALERT for offending sellers of alcohol. Program outcomes include: 1. Prepares businesses for their alcohol license hearing and license attainment.. 2. Provides training for 50-100 servers or sellers of alcohol each month at no cost. 3. Acts as an educational component for those who failed compliance checks, supported by both the Board of License Commissioners as well as District Court judges: 1. Raises knowledge on state and county alcohol law and regulations among retailers. 2. Builds relationships between the DLC and licensees. 3. Provides free resources and tools and raises awareness on current community programs for businesses. 4. Supplies ID Checking Guides to training attendees; to date more than 3,000 ID Checking guides have been distributed at no cost to retailers.

Contact

Name: Emily DeTitta, Community Outreach Prog. Manager 
Agency: Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control 
Address: 16650 Crabbs Branch Way, Rockville, MD 20855 
Tele: 240-777-1904 
Email: emily.detitta@montgomerycounty.gov