Bloomington is requiring all restaurants and businesses with liquor licenses to complete the Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education Training program (BASSET).
BASSET outlines the legal standards for serving alcohol and the consequences of serving alcohol to an intoxicated or underage customer.
The course is designed to educate business owners on laws that directly affect their companies. It also provides awareness of the consequences that could follow if alcohol is served to a customer or guest who should not be served.
Participants are taught to better detect a customer that is intoxicated and when to stop serving to them. Public Affairs Officer Sarah Mayer says the class is to help stop things like DUIs, underage drinking, public intoxication, fights and criminal damage to property reports in the city of Bloomington.
“The BASSET Program is designed to encourage sellers and servers of alcoholic beverages to serve responsibly and stay within the law,” says Mayer.
Sergeant Brian Copple teaches a section of the BASSET program which is held at Heartland Community College. He believes the program will help to stop alcohol-related problems that the community faces.
“It certainly is proactive, there’s no doubt about that, and many cities are going to this,” Copple says.
Olive Garden Manager Chris Herrman attended the class in early September along with another manager from the restaurant.
Herrman said the course was more of a refresher for him and the company as the restaurant maintains proper alcohol serving practices every day.
“I think we are in a challenging environment with people under 21experimenting with alcohol, and the challenge is to uphold the law,” says Herrman.
Even with the challenge, Herrman says that Olive Garden works hard to prevent under-age drinking and serving intoxicated guests.
“Olive Garden does a really good job at training and we are trained to know when to cut people off and to know the standards.”
Olive Garden doesn’t see many of these problems because the restaurant caters mainly to families or couples that drink causally with their meals, he added.
Restaurants are just a few of the required businesses that have to take the mandatory class, including bars, taverns and gas stations.
“We hope the BASSET program contributes to creating a safer environment for everyone where alcohol is served,” Mayer said.