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RESPONSIBLE VENDOR ACT, FLORIDA STATUTES

561.702 Legislative Intent – It is the intent of the Legislature to:

(1) Eliminate the sale of alcoholic beverages to, and consumption of alcoholic beverages by underage persons.

(2) Reduce intoxication-related accidents, injuries, and deaths in the state.

(3) Encourage alcoholic beverage vendors and their employees to prevent drug activity on their premises.

(4) Encourage alcoholic beverage vendors to be prudent in their serving practices and to restrict the sanctions that may be imposed in administrative proceedings against those vendors who comply with responsible practices in accordance with this act.

561.705 Responsible vendor qualification – To qualify as a responsible vendor, the vendor must:

(1) Provide a course of instruction for its employees that must include subjects dealing with alcoholic beverages and may also include subjects dealing with controlled substances as follows: (a) Laws covering the service of alcoholic beverages and the operation of establishments serving alcoholic beverages. (b) Alcohol or controlled substances or both as a drug and its effects on the body and behavior, including its effects on a person operating a motor vehicle. (c) Effects of alcohol in combination with commonly used drugs, both legal and illegal. (d) Methods of recognizing and dealing with underage customers. (e) Methods of dealing with customers, and for dealing with employees, who use or traffic in illegal drugs.

(2) Provide an alcohol server management course for managers of establishments that sell alcoholic beverages. The course must include subjects on alcoholic beverages and may include subjects on controlled substances as follows: (a) Laws governing the service of alcoholic beverages and the operation of establishments serving alcoholic beverages. (b) Development of standard operating procedures for dealing with underage customers. (c) Development of standard operating procedures for dealing with customers, and for dealing with employees, who use or traffic in illegal drugs. (d) Methods of assisting employees in dealing with underage customers and in maintaining records that relate to such incidents.

(3) Require each non-managerial employee who is employed to serve alcoholic beverages to complete the employee training course specified in subsection (1) within 30 days after commencing employment. The vendor must provide for the supervision of such an employee in the service of alcoholic beverages until the employee has received such training.

(4) Require each managerial employee to complete the managerial training course specified in subsection (2) within 15 days after commencing employment.

(5) Require all employees to attend meetings every (4) months. These meetings must include the dissemination of information covering the applicable subjects specified in this section and an explanation of the vendor’s policies and procedures relating to those subjects.

(6) Require each employee, as a condition of his initial employment, to complete a written questionnaire providing the vendor the same information as is required by the division from persons who apply for alcoholic beverage licenses and to determine there from whether the employee is precluded by law from serving or selling alcoholic beverages; however, employees of vendors licensed under s. 563.02(1)(a) or s. 564.02(1)(a) shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection.

(7) Establish a written policy under which any employee who engages in the illegal use of controlled substances on the licensed premises will be immediately dismissed from employment and require each employee to acknowledge the policy in writing.

(8) Maintain employment records of the applications, acknowledgments, and training of its employees required by this section and records of the vendor’s enforcement of the policies requiring dismissal specified in subsection(7).

(9) Post signs on the vendor’s premises informing customers of the vendor’s policy against serving alcoholic beverages to underage persons and informing customers that the purchase of alcoholic beverages by an underage person or the illegal use of or trafficking in controlled substances will result in ejection from the premises and prosecution.

561.706 Exemption from license suspension or revocation; mitigation for certain beverage law violations; records of arrests.

(1) The license of a vendor qualified as a responsible vendor under this act may not be suspended or revoked for an employee’s illegal sale or service of an alcoholic beverage to a person who is not of lawful drinking age or for an employee’s engaging in or permitting others to engage in the illegal sale, use of, or trafficking in controlled substances, if the employee had completed the applicable training prescribed by this act prior to committing such violation, unless the vendor had knowledge of the violation, should have known about such violation, or participated in or committed such violation. No vendor may use as a defense to suspension or revocation the fact that he was absent from the licensed premises at the time a violation of the Beverage Law occurred if the violations are flagrant, persistent, repeated, or recurring.

(2) The division shall consider qualification as a responsible vendor in mitigation of administrative penalties for an employee’s illegal sale or service of an alcoholic beverage to a person who is not of lawful drinking age and if the vendor has administered the applicable courses for controlled substances, for an employee’s engaging in the illegal sale, use of, or trafficking in controlled substances