By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
PreventionWorkz and the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission are working together to offer free alcohol server training to organizations conducting special events.
The training is meant to help reduce underage drinking, public intoxication and other alcohol-related problems.
“The last thing anyone wants at an event, whether it’s a street festival, concert, fundraiser or sporting event, is a belligerent drunk person fighting, cursing and causing problems and then driving home and potentially killing someone on the road,” said Sean Byrne, PreventionWorkz executive director. “Event organizers don’t want to deal with that or the civil and/or criminal penalties that they will face for allowing individuals to get intoxicated.
But a lot of times they rely on volunteers or temporary employees and struggle to find good, quick training programs on ID’ing and serving.”
In Oklahoma, it is a felony offense to provide alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 and to sell alcohol to an already intoxicated person.
It also is illegal to allow an intoxicated person to remain on the premises of a licensed event, and organizers can face criminal, civil and administrative penalties.
“We always want to be proactive and get out in front of any potential problems,” said Byrne. “With all of the great things happening in the area, and the possibility of having even more in the future, we thought this would be a good program for us to get trained in and offer to the community.”
The special event server training helps participants understand the law, identify fake IDs and signs of intoxication, and how to utilize resources such as law enforcement and AAA’s Tipsy Tow service to prevent drunk driving.
Every event serving alcohol must obtain a license from the ABLE Commission, Oklahoma Tax Commission, district court and/or the city of Enid.
The licensee is responsible for any infractions occurring at their event, but those physically serving the alcohol also are held legally responsible.
“It doesn’t matter if someone else let them in to the event, or gave them a wristband saying they were 21,” Byrne said. “If you serve the alcohol it’s your responsibility and you’re the one who’s going to jail.”
Organizations interested in the free special events training can contact PreventionWorkz at (580) 234-1046.