Success in Prevention for Bars and Restaurants in Benton County

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By: Lindsey Ungs, Certified Prevention Specialist

Over the last 2 years the Area Substance Abuse Council and the Above the Influence Coalition have been able to partner with bar owners, managers, and servers in Benton County on issues of responsible alcohol service. ASAC prevention staff has been meeting with the owners and managers of area bars and restaurants to discuss what responsible alcohol service is, and how to best achieve it for their business. This includes instruction on best practices, liability, and server training classes that are offered for free.

Several businesses felt that having an extended training for their employees would be the best way to initiate new policies and best practices within their establishment. Through grant funds and support from both ASAC and the Above the Influence Coalition, we were able to help meet this need by offering TIPS® (Training for Intervention Procedures). TIPS® is an internationally recognized program that teaches, among other things, how to prevent intoxication among patrons, as well as recognizing and effectively dealing with impairment to ensure a safe environment.

For a number of establishments, great practices were already in place, but none of them were communicated to staff in a written format. Many owners opted to put their current policies into writing so that current and future employees would know the expectations when working with the public. ASAC staff was able to help businesses with this process by providing example policies based on existing best practices, and recommendations from the TIPS® program, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, local law enforcement, and insurance agencies. We want to thank the businesses that have met with us or let us train your staff. With continued vigilance, collaboration, and dedication, Benton County will continue to have a thriving and responsible service community.