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Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control Kicks Off New Responsible Vendor Program

August 05, 1998

BATON ROUGE - August 5, 1998: Department of Revenue Secretary John Kennedy and Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control Commissioner Murphy Painter today announced that the new Responsible Vendor Program is now underway. ATC has finalized the administrative rules and regulations governing the program that is under the guidance of a nine-member advisory board. Now that the rules are in place, the program will begin the transitional phase - where vendors voluntarily certify as responsible vendors. The program will be mandatory on January 1, 2000.

"The power of this program is that it promotes voluntary compliance of the vendors and rewards the good vendors as much as it singles out the irresponsible vendors," says Secretary Kennedy.

"This program is a pro-active effort to prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors through education," says Commissioner Painter. "Servers of alcoholic beverages will receive training about such topics as the methods of identifying and dealing with underage and intoxicated persons and the effect of alcohol on the human body."

ATC is responsible for educating vendors, their employees, and customers about the selling, serving, and consumption of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products in a responsible manner.

The Responsible Vendor Program Includes:

- Certification of vendors as "responsible vendors"

- Training courses for servers of alcoholic beverages by approved training providers

- Issuance of permits for servers which are valid in connection with employment by any alcohol vendor in Louisiana

- Compliance monitoring by ATC with the program''s rules and regulations

Under the program, the ATC Commissioner has the right to suspend or revoke a server''s permit or impose a fine on the server for non-compliance with state alcohol laws.

"This law places the responsibility on those actually involved in the illegal sale of alcohol to an underage person," says Kennedy. Before the law went into effect, an administrative citation for alcoholic beverage sales to underage persons could not be issued to an individual server. Administrative citations could only be issued against the licensed vendor, who may not have known or approved of the sale by the employee.

Applications are currently being accepted for training providers. Training classes will be available for servers by September 1, 1998.