5.3 Responsible Beverage Service
This countermeasure covers alcohol sales policies and practices that prevent or discourage restaurant/bar patrons from drinking to excess or from driving while impaired by alcohol. It includes server training programs and management policies.
Effectiveness Concerns: This countermeasure is widely used. Its effectiveness has been examined in several research studies; however, server training programs are the only segment of responsible beverage service for adults that has been adequately documented and evaluated. Research suggests that server training programs can be effective if they involve intensive, high-quality, face-to-face server training accompanied by strong and active management support (Shults et al. 2001). When server training programs are not intensive and are not supported, they are unlikely to result in greater refusals of service to intoxicated patrons. Despite these positive research findings, the balance of evidence regarding countermeasure effectiveness remains inconclusive.
Further information about the known research, potential effectiveness, costs, use, and time to implement are available in Appendix A1, Section 5.3.