(Washington, DC) – On March 8, 2012, the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA), in partnership with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), held a free workshop on verifying valid forms of identification at the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center.
The workshop provided District alcohol vendors with training and information on properly verifying valid forms of identification, understanding alcohol regulations and procedures, and information on enforcing ABRA regulations. OAPIA supported this workshop by providing interpretation service for Limited English Proficient (LEP) attendees. Attendees were also given opportunities to ask questions and discuss scenarios.
"We are trying to work with the licensees," said ABRA Supervisory Investigator Craig Stewart, "Our ultimate goal is to prevent underage drinking. We encourage vendors to take that extra step to determine if a patron is under 21."
The workshop opened with a review of regulations regarding the sale of alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons, laws on the production of valid identification, and associated penalties. Additional information was offered on how to identify minors attempting to purchase alcohol and common scenarios. Various examples of IDs were also displayed to help vendors distinguish between false and valid IDs.
"I know IDs are starting to become really tricky to identify, so it’s just good training to make sure we’re not supplying anything to minors," said Ward 5 vendor Mike Toor. "We want to train employees to make sure everybody’s doing the right thing. It’s not something that takes a long time, but it’ll help you out in the long run."
ABRA staff offered helpful suggestions to vendors, some of which include: keeping a record of employee training sessions, not relying on scanners to verify ID due to technology advancements, and asking specific questions about the information on the ID card.
"We have arranged this workshop because often times, the language of the rules and regulations is beyond the capacity of Limited English Proficient vendors," said OAPIA Director Soohyun "Julie" Koo. "Our agency works to ensure that LEP community members have fair access to such information."
The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration issues and renews licenses that enable qualified businesses to sell and serve alcoholic beverages. ABRA monitors compliance with ABC laws and takes appropriate enforcement action when licensees violate these laws. ABRA also offers education programs that help ABC establishments prevent underage individuals from purchasing and consuming alcohol.
For more information on ABRA, please visit www.abra.dc.gov.