Posts Tagged ‘Alcohol Vendor Protection’

Youth Violence and Alcohol

Modifying drinking settings can also impact alcohol-related
youth violence. For example, improving management and staff
practice through training programmes (67), implementing codes
of good practice, and strictly enforcing licensing legislation (68)
creates environments less conducive to violence. In wider nighttime
environments, the presence of large numbers of intoxicated
individuals at the end of the night increases potential for violent
confrontations (69). Here interventions such as provision of safe
late-night transport (68), improvements to street lighting (70)
and use of closed circuit television (7) have been shown to help
reduce alcohol-related violence around licenced premises.
Full article here:  Youth Violence and Alcohol

Wisconsin State Fair Requires Responsible Alcohol Seller-Server Training

Alcohol Service Training for Employees

Mission Statement: To actively promote the responsible sale, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages at Wisconsin State Fair Park while maintaining a safe and friendly family atmosphere at the Park.

In an effort to keep consistent with our Mission Statement, Wisconsin State Fair Park has adopted the following criteria for approved employee alcohol service training. All Vendors with an alcohol service privilege and their employees who perform any type of alcohol service must posses a valid Wisconsin Bartenders License or complete and pass an alcohol service training program that has been approved by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and fully complies with Wisconsin State Statutes 125.04 and 125.17.

Click here to take our approved Alcohol Service Training Program

Alcohol Service training courses can be taken online or in a classroom setting. Some online courses that are currently available are;

o Servingalcohol.com

Alcohol service training is currently valid for a three year period.

It is the responsibility of the Vendor to document and track the employee alcohol service training and results along with the number of employees that posses a valid bartenders license to ensure the proper level of staff has met the aforementioned criteria. The Vendor will have available and provide this list to WSFP upon request. Employees are required to have on display or carry their valid bartender‟s license or the official alcohol service training certificate while performing alcohol service duties on the ground.

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See a comparison of Wisconsin Bartender License Courses here

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‘Super drunk’ drivers face tougher punishment with new Michigan law

Source: mlive.com
Published: Sunday, October 17, 2010, 6:59 AM

Starting on Oct. 31, there will be two kinds of drunken drivers in Michigan: standard and “super.”

Standard are those with blood alcohol content of 0.08 to 0.16 percent. The super drunk, a new category under state law, are first-time offenders who test at 0.17 or above.

The designation confers no special powers, just super-high penalties and super-stiff fees.

Fines and other costs could top $8,000, some defense attorneys predict. Alcohol treatment is mandatory, possible jail time is doubled, and driving is forbidden for 45 days.

The penalties include another first for Michigan: a requirement to install an in-car breathalyzer.

To resume driving after 45 days, first-time super-drunk offenders must buy an ignition interlock, which works by testing a driver’s breath and allows the car to run only if the driver is sober.

The change is part of an effort to toughen drunken driving penalties, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Michigan joined more than 40 states when the Legislature passed the standards with virtually no opposition at the end of 2008.

The technical term is “high blood alcohol content enhanced penalty law.” “We don’t really like calling it the super drunk law,” said Anne Readett, spokeswoman for the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

Critics of the law, including defense lawyers, question its effectiveness.
Advocates call the measure positive but not enough – “a disappointing step in the right direction,” said Michigan MADD’s executive director, Homer Smith.
For example, state lawmakers set the blood-alcohol standard at 0.17 percent, bucking a trend toward tougher 0.15 thresholds preferred by MADD. And at least a dozen states require interlock devices for all convicted drunken drivers.
“The Legislature had an opportunity to do something that would significantly deter drunk driving,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, they chose to do less than the optimum.”

Michigan still considers 0.08 percent to be legally drunk, and the new law does not affect repeat offenders or people who face a felony for causing death, injury or damage.

About one-third of Michigan drivers whom police suspect of driving drunk test at the enhanced penalty levels.

Interlocks have gained in effectiveness and acceptance since 2007, when federal traffic safety officials began a campaign urging judges to require the devices.

A device costs the driver about $100 a month to maintain. Other costs to violators come from state driver responsibility fees and attorney fees.
First-time offenders who meet the super-drunk standard are looking at $8,000 to $10,000, according to defense attorney Gerald Lykins.

He is unconvinced the law will be effective.
“I’m not sure that penalizing someone who blows a 0.17 rather than 0.14 will prevent people from drunk driving,” he said. “The driver responsibility fee was supposed to reduce bad driving, but that hasn’t worked.”
MADD counters that enhanced penalties are working in other states. New Mexico, for instance, has had a 20 percent reduction in alcohol-related crashes since its law was passed in 2005.

Kalamazoo County Assistant Prosecutor Aubrey Sharp said the new penalties treat offenses in proportion to one another.
“You have a person with a 0.09 blood alcohol level who is punished the same as someone with a 0.32,” Sharp said.

Others take a wait-and-see approach. Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth said penalties already are harsh.

“It’s still drunk driving and I don’t see how it’s really going to change,” he said.
Grand Rapids Assistant City Attorney Mike Tomich calls the law “a useful tool for public safety.” But he said he is not certain the provisions will change behavior overall.

Grand Rapids District Court Judge Jeanine LaVille, who oversees sobriety court, said the added mandatory penalties take more discretion from judges, who have crafted sentences based on individual needs and offenses.

“We’re already doing what the Legislature suggests,” LaVille said.

Attorney Lykins said if the state wants to prevent drunken driving, lawmakers could consider taking the law to its logical conclusion.

“We could demand that car manufactures have interlock devices as standard equipment,” Lykins said, “just like seatbelts.”

Wisconsin alcohol sales must be face to face

According to Wisconsin Law, statue 125.51(6), 125.272 alcohol beverage sales must be made face to face with buyer and seller both physically present at the licensed premises. The exceptions have to do with hotel rooms and caterers.

Here are a few scenarios that would likely be against the law:

During the Christmas holidays, some customers call  a retailer and have gift baskets with wine, cheese, etc. made up which are then delivered by the licensed retailer’s employees to the homes of the recipients of the gift basket (similar to a delivery of a flower arrangement).  Some of the customers who order the gift baskets request that a couple bottles of wines be included in the gift basket.

Some homebound customers call in grocery orders to  a licensed retailer and the retailer’s  employees deliver the groceries to the customers home.  Some of the call in orders include requests for beer, wine, and liquor.

Both of these scenarios are illegal.

Why Is Congress So Afraid of Mail Order Wine?

Source: Fox News

By: Angela Logomasini

Date: September 29, 2010

The quest by wine and beer wholesalers to maintain their “middleman” role within the liquor industry is simply bad news. A bill making its way through the House (H.R. 5034) sponsored by Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) supports wholesalers’ promises to limit consumer choice and disadvantage retailers, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and importers.

The topic is the subject of hearings before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee today. Not surprisingly, wholesalers hope this legislation will protect the “three-tier system” for distribution of alcohol, which nearly all states impose. The system requires that alcohol producers (wineries, distillers, brewers, and importers) sell only to wholesalers, who in turn market the products to retailers. It thereby bans any mutually beneficial sales between retailers (wine shops, restaurants, etc) and wineries or other producers that could enhance product selection and save money for consumers.

H.R. 5034 strikes back against market liberalization that the Supreme Court fostered with its ruling in Granholm v. Heald. In that case, the Court ruled that laws in Michigan and New York violated the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The laws essentially banned shipments from out-of-state wineries to New York and Michigan residents, but allowed the wineries in those states to ship wine. The court held that any such regulations must apply equally to in-state and out-of-state businesses.

Since then, many states have begun allowing direct-to-consumer wine shipping. Richard Mendelson, wine lawyer and author of “From Demon to Darling: A Legal History of Wine in America,” notes: “Within two and half years of ‘Granholm,’ eleven states had leveled up, and none had leveled down completely. Those states had to open their borders to all direct shipping or close them entirely.” This increased freedom has been a boon to consumers who otherwise would have fewer options. It also helps wineries who have trouble marketing specialty products in a world of increasing competition and consolidation among wholesalers.

But the logic of “Granholm” should also apply to retailers, who are now fighting in federal courts for the right to skip the wholesaler tier. The nation’s largest wine retailer-Costco-has gained a partial victory in Washington state and is helping advance a ballot initiative there that would basically break Washington state’s three-tier mandates.

Wholesalers fear the spread of such deregulation. “Direct-to-consumer shipments will never drive a wholesaler out of business, but the deregulation it is fostering will,” noted Craig Wolf of the Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of America in a 2007 issue of The American. Accordingly, wholesalers have been spending millions in PAC donations to members of Congress, pushing them to pass H.R. 5034. The bill would exercise Congress’s constitutional power to regulate commerce by explicitly allowing states to impose regulations would otherwise violate the Commerce Clause.

As introduced, the bill would have allowed states to pass pretty much any regulation they desired, but a scaled-down substitute version that Rep. Delahunt is expected to offer today remains problematic. Tom Wark of the Specialty Wine Retailers Association points out that this draft opens the door to a host of directly discriminatory state regulations focused on retailers, which could ultimately limit consumers’ online buying options.

But consumers who buy direct from wineries or breweries should remain concerned. In addition to curbing freedoms for retailers, the new draft could also bolster state laws that indirectly discriminate against producers. In other words, it might allow discriminatory tax policies or other regulations that would make direct shipping less viable.

Not only is this legislation bad for consumer freedom, it isn’t necessary to “save” the wholesaler business. Wholesalers will not disappear without a mandated three-tier system. In fact, wholesalers do well in places like California and Washington, D.C. where there are no such mandates. Wholesalers exist because they provide a valuable service in getting products to market-but they should have to compete for their place like everyone else.

A key reason the founders drafted the Constitution was to prevent trade impediments between states and maximize individual freedom. Using Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause to impede commerce simply to serve one-special interest is pure folly.

Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. in American Politics, is a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Learn more about state alcohol laws here.

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