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The California Highway Patrol made more than 32,000 DUI arrests in the first half of 2018, but a new program launched by the state aims to curb drunk driving and prevent DUIs.

The California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) announced that its Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) class is now available online and in-person. Available to California bartenders, alcohol sellers, and restaurant owners and employees, the free course educates participants on the different laws and regulations of alcohol sales.

“The LEAD program is designed to provide licensees and servers with the tools and knowledge needed to promote responsible consumption, keep alcohol out of the hands of minors and make our communities safer,” said Jacob Appelsmith, Director of ABC.

According to the 2015 Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions, there were 1,023 fatal alcohol-involved collisions in California in 2015, resulting in 1,144 fatalities.

Responsible Serving Could Reduce Drunk Driving

With about half of those arrested for DUI/DWI coming from licensed establishments responsible beverage service courses, like the LEAD training, may help prevent drunk driving incidents.

A 2017 study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that training employees on responsible beverage service and enforcing the program (such as overserving intoxicated patrons), could help to reduce instances of impaired driving.

ABC spokesman, John Carr, stated, “(Alcohol servers) are important gatekeepers in the community. (The course) gives practical information on how to serve alcoholic beverages safely.”

The ABC is also at work developing a program in accordance with a new state law. The California legislation—set to take effect in July 2021—requires all alcoholic beverage servers and their supervisors to become certified in an ABC-approved responsible beverage service course to ensure the enforcement and implementation of the LEAD program.

Since the launch of the program, over 1,300 people have completed the training and the ABC hopes to certify 10,000 alcohol sellers and servers by fall.

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.

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