Downtown Businesses React to Alcohol Proposal

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COLUMBIA - Local businesses reacted Friday to a proposal that would require businesses that serve alcohol to train their employees to look out for underage drinkers.

The proposal, submitted by Columbia's Subsatnce Abuse Advisory Commission, requires employees of such establishments to take an online test knows as State of Missouri Alcohol Responisbility Training (SMART).

"We already use SMART to train our employees," said Bengals manager Katie Roder. "If anything else is required, we will comply."

Several restaurants in downtown Columbia said they did not know enough about the plan to comment.

Kim Dude, the University of Missouri's Wellness Resource director and one of the designers of the idea, said just having a simple check for fake IDs is not good enough.

"It takes a lot more telling people to watch for this," Dude said. "This training gives you the actual tools to stop underage drinking and to catch those who have had too much."

There is no deadline for the city council to take up the proposal.