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Navigating Washington’s Alcohol Server Training Requirements: A Comprehensive Overview

Washington State takes responsible alcohol service seriously, and as such, has specific requirements for alcohol server training. Understanding these requirements is essential for anyone involved in serving or selling alcohol in the state. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Washington’s alcohol server training requirements.

Washington's Alcohol Server Training Requirements
  1. Mandatory Alcohol Server Training:
    • Washington State law requires all individuals who serve or sell alcohol for on-premises consumption to complete mandatory alcohol server training.
    • This training must be provided by an approved alcohol server training program.
  2. Approved Training Programs:
    • The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) approves alcohol server training programs that meet state standards.
    • Approved programs are available online and in-person, and cover topics such as checking IDs, recognizing signs of intoxication, and legal responsibilities.
  3. Who Needs Training:
    • Anyone who serves or sells alcohol for on-premises consumption, including bartenders, waitstaff, and managers, must complete alcohol server training within 60 days of hire.
    • Temporary or occasional servers are exempt from this requirement if they work less than 12 shifts per calendar year.
  4. Training Renewal:
    • Alcohol server training certification is valid for five years, after which individuals must complete a refresher course to renew their certification.
    • The refresher course must be at least two hours long and cover the same topics as the initial training.
  5. Enforcement and Penalties:
    • The LCB enforces alcohol server training requirements through regular inspections and compliance checks.
    • Failure to comply with training requirements can result in fines, suspension of alcohol licenses, or other penalties.
  6. Additional Requirements:
    • In addition to alcohol server training, Washington State also requires alcohol servers to be at least 18 years old and to obtain a Class 12 or Class 13 alcohol server permit.
    • Servers who work in establishments that offer adult entertainment or allow minors on the premises must obtain a Class 14 alcohol server permit.

Understanding Washington’s alcohol server training requirements is essential for anyone involved in serving or selling alcohol in the state. By completing mandatory alcohol server training and obtaining the necessary permits, individuals can contribute to responsible alcohol service and help create a safer drinking environment for all.


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