Proposed Ordinance Requires Alcohol Certification

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COLUMBIA - Anyone selling or serving alcohol may soon need certification to do so. Columbia's Substance Abuse Advisory Commission drafted an ordinance to the city's Board of Health requiring anyone involved in the sale of alcohol in Columbia, including out of state vendors, to complete training to be certified as an alcohol server.

The ordinance is mainly focused on preventing the sale of alcohol to minors and people who already intoxicated. The certificate will be valid at any Columbia business for three years. A certificate holder must be at least 18 years old.

To be certified, applicants must either complete an in-person training class or the free online State of Missouri Alcohol Responsibility Training (SMART). The organization says the online course is effective in improving server knowledge and takes about an hour to complete.

In the past, bar owners were not in favor of required alcohol server training, but many support the ordinance now because the online training is free, and servers will be required to have it completed before applying for a position.

Some details of the ordinance are still being discussed, such as the fee for the in-person training class and the penalty for servers violating alcohol laws.

There is no deadline for the ordinance's submission to the Columbia City Council for review.

For more information about SMART, visit their website.