HAVE A QUESTION?

CALIFORNIA RBS CERTIFICATION
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Craft Serving is here to help you obtain RBS Certification to serve alcohol in California. Browse through these FAQ’s to find answers to commonly raised questions about the Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Program.

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CALIFORNIA

RBS CERTIFICATION COURSE

$15.00

This online course is approved by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

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RBS Certification

IS IT CALLED AN “RBS PERMIT” OR AN “RBS CERTIFICATE”?

California’s Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Program is relatively new. On July 1, 2022 the program took effect, requiring an estimated 1,000,000 people in California to complete RBS training by August 31, 2022 at the latest.

Since the program is new, there are many different colloquial terms being used to describe what employees need to obtain to serve alcohol in California. You might hear a co-worker refer to it as an “RBS Permit” while an employer calls it an “RBS Certificate.”

The best way to describe it is “RBS Certification.” After you pass the final exam, you are certified. Your certification status is housed digitally within the ABC’s online portal and can be tracked using your unique Server ID Number.

For more information, jump down to the FAQ entitled, “HOW DO I GET RBS CERTIFIED?

WHO NEEDS TO OBTAIN RBS CERTIFICATION?

The ABC requires you to obtain RBS Certification if are an alcohol server or manager of alcohol servers at an establishment licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption.

AN ALCOHOL SERVER IS ANYONE WHO

  • CHECKS IDENTIFICATION
  • TAKES ORDERS FOR ALCOHOL
  • POURS ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
  • DELIVERS ALCOHOLIC DRINKS

AT A LIQUOR LICENSED ESTABLISHMENT

A MANAGER IS ANYONE WHO

  • OVERSEES EMPLOYEES
  • HIRES EMPLOYEES
  • TRAINS EMPLOYEES

AT A LIQUOR LICENSED ESTABLISHMENT

CAN I GET RBS CERTIFIED IF I AM UNDER 21 YEARS OLD?

Anyone can obtain RBS Certification as it is not age restricted. For this reason, some business owners may err on the side of caution and require all their employees – both minors and adults – to complete training. That said, there are limited circumstances in which a minor employee is allowed to serve alcohol, and consequently, required by law to complete certification.

For more information, jump down to the FAQ entitled, “WHEN CAN MINORS SERVE ALCOHOL IN CALIFORNIA?

WHEN DO I NEED TO GET RBS CERTIFIED?

Alcohol servers and their managers must obtain RBS Certification within 60 days of initial employment. The ABC defines “initial employment” as the day you sign an employment contract or employee tax and identification documents, whichever is sooner.

That said, there is no 60 day grace period for non-profits with a temporary license to host a special event. Non-profits must designate at least one person to complete RBS training prior to the event and that person must remain onsite for the duration of the event.

HOW DO I GET RBS CERTIFIED?

These are the steps we recommend following to become RBS certified, however, please note that Step #1 and Step #2 are completely interchangeable.

Step #1:  Purchase the course.

Begin this step by signing up for our new, easy online course! Our course saves your progress as you go so you can complete lessons and quizzes at your own pace.

Since RBS Certification is new to Californians, we like to explain the process a little before sending students over the ABC’s online portal.

Step #2: Register with the ABC.

Go to the ABC’s online portal and select “LOG IN/REGISTER” in the top righthand corner. If you don’t already have an account with the ABC, you will need to create a new one. Once logged into your account, select “Server” to complete and pay $3 for your Server Application. This process takes about five minutes.

After you submit the application, you will be provided with a Server ID Number. Save this number as you will need it for the next step.

Step #3: Complete the course.

Return to the course and provide Craft Serving with your Server ID Number. Immediately after you complete the course, we will send your Server ID Number to the ABC.

After the ABC matches our submission to the record they have for you, they will send you an email letting you know you have been granted access to take the final exam. Please allow the ABC up to 2 hours to complete this process.

For more information, jump down to the FAQ entitled, “WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN GRANTED ACCESS TO TAKE THE ABC’S FINAL EXAM?

Step #4: Pass the ABC’s exam.

After receiving access to the final exam, you have 30 days to pass it. To do this, log on to the ABC’s online portal and select “Take Exam.”

You will need to get a score of 70% or higher to pass the exam. Immediately after passing the exam, your certification status within the portal will change from “Not Certified” to “Certified.”

For more information, jump down to the FAQ entitled, “IS THE FINAL EXAM HARD?

WILL I BE RBS CERTIFIED AFTER I TAKE THIS COURSE?

The short answer is no.

There are multiple steps to getting RBS certified. The previous FAQ question explains all the steps in detail, but to boil it down, after you finish taking the course from us, you will need to go to the ABC’s online portal to take the final exam.

We don’t make the rules, we just follow them. But we do try to do a good job of explaining the process! 😃

WILL I RECEIVE A PHYSICAL CERTIFICATE AFTER COMPLETING RBS TRAINING?

The term “RBS Certification” can be a bit misleading. After you pass the final exam, you will not be provided with an actual certificate that you can download or print off, but rather what the ABC refers to as a “digital” certificate.

In other words, after you pass the exam, your certification status within the ABC’s online portal changes from Not Certified to “Certified” and it is tracked using your unique Server ID Number. The ABC and your employer may request this number to look up and verify that your certification is still valid using their own accounts within the portal.

The good news is, since your RBS Certification is housed digitally within the ABC’s online portal, you will never need to worry about paying extra to replace a physical lost or stolen certificate! This happens quite a bit to servers who live in states that issue/mail physical certificates and permits.

DO I NEED TO HAVE MY RBS CERTIFICATION ON ME WHILE I AM WORKING?

Your RBS Certification’s status is stored digitally within the ABC’s online portal and tracked using your Server ID Number. The ABC does not require you to memorize this number, but it does recommend that you keep a copy of it on you while you are working. You might consider writing it down on a piece of paper and putting it in your wallet or saving a screenshot of it (from the portal) on your phone.

WHAT IS MY RBS SERVER ID NUMBER?

A unique Server ID Number is issued to you after you submit a Server Application on the ABC’s online portal. The ABC and your employer use this number to track the status of your digital RBS Certification.

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I LOSE MY RBS CERTIFICATION NUMBER?

Your RBS Certification’s status is housed digitally on the ABC’s online portal and tracked using your Server ID Number.

If you lose your Server ID Number, go back to the portal and log in to your account. From the user dashboard, your Server ID Number will be listed at the top of the page within a box that says, “Server Certificate Details.”

The good news is, since your RBS Certification is housed digitally, it can be quickly accessed anytime and anywhere using the internet!

CAN I GET IN TROUBLE FOR SERVING ALCOHOL WITHOUT RBS CERTIFICATION?

Per California State Law, there are no direct penalties to servers for not obtaining RBS Certification within 60 days of hire.

Rather, the responsibility of making sure that servers are certified within the time requirement falls on the ABC Licensee. For this reason, some licensees won’t put employees on the schedule until they are certified.

If a licensee’s managers and alcohol servers do not have valid RBS Certification, the licensee can face a 10-day liquor license suspension. This administrative penalty varies depending on either aggravating or mitigating factors, such as:

  • The percentage of employees without certification.
  • The length of time one or more employees is employed without certification.
  • Any prior warnings given to the licensee regarding alcohol server certification requirements.

That said, if a server breaks an alcohol-related law and the server is not RBS certified, the server’s negligence in obtaining certification could be an aggravating factor that affects the extent of their penalty for breaking the law.

HOW DO I CHANGE MY NAME ON MY RBS CERTIFICATION?

Go to the ABC’s online portal and log in to your account.  From the user dashboard, scroll down to the box that says, “Server Profile” and click “Edit Server Profile >>”. Begin filling out the information and upload photo identification reflecting the name change.

Requests to change account information can take a minimum of 10 business days for processing. Please check your user dashboard within 10-14 business days to view your name change, if approved.

HOW LONG IS RBS CERTIFICATION GOOD FOR?

RBS Certification is valid for exactly three years from the date you pass your final exam.

MY RBS CERTIFICATION IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE, HOW DO I RENEW IT?

You can renew your certification anytime within 90 days of its expiration. To renew, you must resubmit a Server Application, retake an RBS training class and retake the final exam.

There is no grace period to get recertified once your certification expires. To help eliminate time without a valid permit, the ABC will email you reminders 90, 60 and 30 days before your certification’s expiration date.

The Course

WHAT DOES RBS STAND FOR?

In California, “RBS” stands for Responsible Beverage Service.

WHY ARE ALCOHOL SERVERS REQUIRED TO TAKE AN RBS COURSE?

In 2017, California Legislature passed a law to institute a new, mandatory Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Program. The mission of the program is to ensure effective training for servers and their managers to curb harm related to underage drinking and the overuse of alcohol in California communities.

IS THE COURSE APPROVED BY THE ABC?

Yes, the content of this online course has been reviewed and approved by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

IS THE COURSE COMPATIBLE WITH MY DEVICE?

This course is compatible with most phones, tablets, computers and operating systems. However, for the best user experience, we recommend that you complete the course on either a desktop computer, laptop or tablet. If you find it is not compatible with your device, we will issue you a full refund.

HOW LONG DOES THE COURSE TAKE?

This course usually takes 2-3 hours to complete. However, the course is self-paced, so you do not have to complete it in one sitting. You may log-off mid-course and resume the course anytime you choose.

HOW MUCH DOES THE COURSE COST?

The course is currently on sale for $15.00. Once you enroll in the course, you will be asked to create an account and pay the $15.00 fee.

The Final Exam

CAN I TAKE THE ABC'S FINAL EXAM WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE ENTIRE COURSE?

No. The ABC will not grant you access to take the final exam until after it receives confirmation from an RBS training provider that you completed an RBS training course.

Alcohol servers must take a course and pass the exam whether they are getting RBS certified for the first time or renewing RBS certification.

For more information, jump up to the FAQ entitled, “HOW DO I GET RBS CERTIFIED?

WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN GRANTED ACCESS TO TAKE THE ABC’S FINAL EXAM?

If the Last Name and Server ID Number you provided us does not exactly match the Last Name and Server ID Number on record with the ABC, you will not be granted access to take the final exam.

If more than 24 hours have passed since you completed our course and you still do not have access to take the final exam on the ABC’s online portal, then give us a call at (213) 772-7759 so we can work with you to update your information and resend it to the ABC.

For more information, jump up to the FAQ entitled, “HOW DO I GET RBS CERTIFIED?

IS THE ABC’S FINAL EXAM HARD?

The ABC’s final exam consists of 50 randomly generated questions. You must score 70% or higher to pass; this equates to 35 correct answers out of 50. The exam is an open note, open-book test with no time limit. You can also leave and return to the exam as many times as needed. That means, if you run into a tricky question, just head back to our course and look for the answer. In order to help ensure students pass the final exam, Craft Serving’s course content was written and developed with the ABC’s final exam questions in mind. Here are a couple of hot tips! 😉

  1. Our course teaches to the final exam as much as possible and oftentimes, bolded sections pertain to information that will be covered in the exam.
  2. Craft Serving provides all its students with a free Practice Test. The questions on the practice test are very similar to the questions on the ABC’s exam, so it’s a great way to prepare for the final exam.

I DIDN’T TAKE THE FINAL EXAM WITHIN 30 DAYS, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

If you waited too long to take the final exam, then we’ve got some bad news for you. You are going to have to retake an RBS training course.

Per the ABC, RBS training and certification is a 3-step process:

  1. Registering with ABC as an alcohol server.
  2. Taking RBS training from an authorized provider.
  3. Taking the final exam on the ABC’s online portal.

The third step is dependent on the second step, which requires the final exam to be completed within 30 days from the date training was completed.

If the third step is not completed within 30 days of when training was completed, or the server does not pass the exam with a 70% or better, then steps 2 and 3 must be repeated until the exam is passed.

I FAILED THE FINAL EXAM, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The ABC charges you a $3 non-refundable fee to take the exam. That fee grants you three attempts to pass the exam. If you fail three times, you will need to retake the entire course and exam. We won’t charge you to retake our course, but the ABC will charge you $3 to retake the exam.

To retake the course, just give us a call and ask us to reset your course progress. To retake the exam, go to the ABC’s online portal and resubmit a Server Application.

Lastly, each time you fail the final exam, the ABC does not tell you exactly which questions you missed. Rather, it tells you which topics you need to study. Be sure to pay extra attention to these topics if you are required to retake the course.

I PASSED THE FINAL EXAM, WHEN WILL I BE RBS CERTIFIED?

Immediately after passing the exam, your certification status within the portal changes from “Not Certified” to “Certified.”

For more information, jump up to the FAQ entitled, “DO I NEED TO HAVE MY RBS CERTIFICATION ON ME WHILE I AM WORKING?

About Craft Serving

WHAT MAKES CRAFT SERVING SPECIAL?

Designed by Alcohol Servers, for Alcohol Servers!

Before we were Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training providers, we were bartenders. As bartenders, we took pride in what we did and placed emphasis on craft and skill. We loved every aspect of bartending except RBS training.

The online courses we took seemed poorly organized, outdated and out-of-touch with the issues alcohol servers actually face. And, although we had a good relationship with our local inspector from the liquor control board, we also felt like the information we received from the state was not always clear or practical.

Consequently, we set out to help bridge the gap by creating a new, modern course that makes RBS training as painless as possible.

  • To start, our course builds upon itself. This may seem like a basic concept, but for some reason, it is something many of our competitors have yet to figure out.
  • Our course incorporates a variety of visual and interactive tools to create an entertaining and engaging learning environment.
  • Our course teaches the basics of RBS training in a clear, concise format so you can easily recall information from the course long after you have completed it.

By the end of your training, we hope you will feel confident in your ability to serve alcohol responsibly and be committed to upholding liquor laws, even under challenging circumstances!

DOES CRAFT SERVING SUPPORT CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS?

We think it is very important to support charitable organizations that give back to alcohol servers within the food and beverage community!

That is why we are a proud member of the United State Bartenders’ Guild and supporter of the USBG National Charity Foundation. The foundation is committed to advancing the lifelong stability & wellbeing of service industry professionals through education & charitable activities. Click here to learn more and find out how you can get involved too.

If you know of another cause that is worth supporting, please share it with us. We are always interested in learning about more opportunities to get connected with the local community and expand our giving.

WHY DOES CRAFT SERVING NEED MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?

We are required to collect two pieces of your personal information and then pass them on to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) after you finish the online course.

  1. Last Name (as registered in the ABC’s online portal)
  2. Server ID Number

The ABC then matches the information we provide to your account within the portal. In doing so, it is able to confirm that you completed a certified RBS training course.

For more information, check out the FAQ entitled, “WHAT IS THE CALIFORNIA ABC’S ROLE IN RESPONSIBLE BEVERAGE SERVICE (RBS) TRAINING?

WHAT IS CRAFT SERVING'S REFUND POLICY?

Although we work hard to try and provide you with the best online Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training program available, we know sometimes things don’t go as planned.

We are committed to making sure you have a positive experience with Craft Serving. If you decide you need a refund for any reason, please contact us and we would be happy to assist.

To view our full Refund Policy located within our Terms and Conditions, just click here.

WHAT IS CRAFT SERVING'S PRIVACY POLICY?

Our Privacy Policy discloses the way we use and manage your data. To sum up the policy, we are committed to maintaining and securing your privacy.

  • We don’t ask for your personal information unless we truly need it.
  • We don’t store your personal information unless it’s required for our services.
  • We don’t share your personal information except to comply with the law, to provide services and to protect our rights.

To view our complete Privacy Policy, just click here

WHAT IS CRAFT SERVING'S TERMS AND CONDITIONS?

Our Terms and Conditions outline our relationship with you by providing a description of your rights and responsibilities as a user of our website.  Before purchasing an online course, you will be required to abide by this agreement.

To view our full Terms and Conditions, just click here.

About The California ABC

WHAT DOES “CALIFORNIA ABC” STAND FOR?

“California ABC” stands for the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

WHAT DOES THE CALIFORNIA ABC DO?

The California ABC is the governmental agency that regulates the manufacture, sale and use of alcoholic beverages for the State of California.

CAN A CALIFORNIA ABC AGENT ARREST ME?

Yes! Under California Penal Code, Section 830.2, ABC Agents are sworn peace officers who monitor the sale and service of alcohol and enforce laws related to alcoholic beverages.

They have the authority to conduct investigations, make arrests and issue administrative violation notices or criminal citations to licensees, servers and customers who violate the law.

DO CALIFORNIA ABC AGENTS WEAR UNIFORMS?

Sometimes! ABC agents typically work in plain clothes attire, but they do wear uniforms when working in a high-profile capacity.

DOES THE CALIFORNIA ABC EMPLOY MINOR DECOYS TO BUY ALCOHOL FROM LICENSED PREMISES?

You bet they do! In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled that the use of minor decoys is not entrapment and does not violate due process requirements, thus allowing law enforcement to use minor decoys to ensure that licensed businesses don’t sell alcohol to minors. The California ABC now uses minor decoys in two ways. First, the ABC has minors, who do not look overly mature for their age, attempt to buy alcohol at liquor stores, restaurants, bars and special events. If carded, the minors either show their own valid identification, which clearly indicates they are underage, or they say they have no identification with them. ABC minor decoy operations follow clear standards per the California Code of Regulations, Rule 141 and Business and Professions Code, Section 25658(f):

  • ① Minor decoys must be age 19 or younger.
  • ② Minor decoys must look younger than 21.
  • ③ Minor decoys may not use false ID.
  • ④ Minor decoys may not lie about their age (if asked how old they are, the decoy may say, “How old do you think I am?” but they will not give a false age).
  • ⑤ Following any completed sale, the officer should attempt to have the minor decoy make a face-to-face identification of the seller.

Second, the ABC also uses minors for its “Shoulder Tap Program.” In this program, it sends minors to stand outside liquor stores, supermarkets or gas stations and ask adults to buy them alcohol. Any person seen furnishing alcohol to a minor is then arrested (either cited or booked) for a violation of the Business and Professions Code, Section 25658(a).

WHAT IS THE CALIFORNIA ABC’S ROLE IN RESPONSIBLE BEVERAGE SERVICE (RBS) TRAINING?

The California ABC oversees the RBS training program by working closely with RBS training providers.

  1. It certifies RBS training providers after reviewing and approving their course.
  2. It coordinates with RBS training providers to collect student information.
  3. It communicates with RBS training providers to help resolve customer service issues.
  4. It monitors RBS training providers to ensure they are meeting expectations.

To learn more about the California ABC’s online portal for alcohol servers, check out the FAQ entitled, “HOW DO I GET RBS CERTIFIED?”        

DOES THE CALIFORNIA ABC PROVIDE COPIES OF REQUIRED SIGNAGE FOR LIQUOR LICENSED BUSINESSES?

While the California ABC requires some licensees to post signs that help inform the public of liquor laws and promote safety, it does not provide licensees with either a physical or digital copy of any of these signs.

In most cases, licensees are required to purchase signs, make their own or obtain them from the local municipality. To help fill the gap, Craft Serving created samples of required signage and now makes them available for complimentary download to customers that purchase the California RBS Certification Course.

Click here to enroll and receive access to the following signs:

  • No Person Under 21 Allowed
  • Proposition 65 Warning
  • No Smoking
  • Smoking Prohibited Except in Designated Areas
  • Slavery and Human Trafficking Public Notice

WHAT IS THE CALIFORNIA ABC’S MISSION?

The mission of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is to provide the highest level of service and public safety to the people of the state through licensing, education and enforcement.

WHAT IS THE CALIFORNIA ABC’S VISION?

The vision of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is to protect California communities through excellence in alcohol regulation and education.

WHAT IS THE CALIFORNIA ABC’S VALUES?

Trust – “We serve the public and one another with fairness and integrity.”
Innovation – “We embrace emerging change for continuous improvement.”
Professionalism – “We are ethical and respectful in all that we do.”

HOW CAN I CONTACT THE CALIFORNIA ABC?

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is headquartered in Sacramento but has district offices throughout the state. You can search the ABC’s district offices page to find an office close to you. Office hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm except for Eureka, which is open between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm.

CALIFORNIA ABC HEADQUARTERS
Address: 3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95834
Email: headquarters@abc.ca.gov
Phone: (916) 419-2500

California Liquor Laws

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL HOURS OF ALCOHOL SERVICE IN CALIFORNIA?

In California, the legal hours to sell, serve or consume alcohol are from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM.

DO I HAVE TO BREAK EMPTY LIQUOR BOTTLES, OR CAN I RECYCLE IN CALIFORNIA?

The California law which required that empty liquor bottles be broken has been repealed, so liquor-licensed businesses can now recycle!

However, it is still illegal to refill liquor bottles. Any person who refills a bottle with distilled spirits is guilty of a misdemeanor. (California Business and Professions Code, Sections 25176 and 25177)

CAN I DRINK ON DUTY IN CALIFORNIA?

While some states have laws against drinking on duty, California does not prohibit the longstanding tradition of bartenders accepting incidental drinks from patrons of the establishment. 

This is good news for those that occasionally need to taste small amounts of product for educational purposes or to ensure it is not flawed. For example, craft cocktail bartenders are known to test cocktails with a straw as a quality control measure.

That said, drinking on duty can put the licensee, server and customers at risk. If a server becomes intoxicated from drinking on duty, their ability to exercise good judgment is critically impaired. This can lead to unsafe or reckless service.

CAN I HAVE A “SHIFT DRINK” IN CALIFORNIA?

As an employee, you may be entitled to a free “shift drink.” If this is the case, you must drink it sometime after 6:00 AM and before 2:00 AM. Also, it is best not drink it while you are on duty, on a break or about to go on duty.

WHEN CAN MINORS SERVE ALCOHOL IN CALIFORNIA?

It is illegal for minors to pour or serve alcohol at establishments that primarily sell alcohol, such as bars, nightclubs and taverns. However, there is an exception for minors 18 to 20 years old working at establishments that are bona fide public eating places, such as restaurants, concession stands and pizza parlors.

A minor employee may serve alcoholic beverages to customers if the service occurs in an area mainly used for food service. The primary duties of the employee should be the service of meals to guests, with the service of alcohol being incidental to such duties. A minor employee may not mix or pour alcoholic drinks.

WHAT FORMS OF ID CAN I ACCEPT IN CALIFORNIA?

In order for identification to be acceptable, it must meet specific criteria.

A valid ID must be issued by a U.S. government agency and show:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Photo
  • Physical description
  • Expiration date

Examples of ID that meet the above criteria:

  • U.S. State Driver License
  • U.S. State ID Card
  • U.S. Military ID Card*
  • U.S. Passport* †

There are two caveats to the above criteria:
Special legislation allows military ID and passports to be used as acceptable ID even though they do not list a physical description.
† Foreign passports are also considered acceptable ID.

CAN I ACCEPT A TEMPORARY, PAPER CALIFORNIA DRIVER LICENSE?

The ABC’s website lists temporary, paper driver licenses as unacceptable for the purpose of serving alcohol. This is probably because most temporary, paper driver licenses issued in California do not include a photo. Additionally, temporary ID printed on paper does not have the security features of a real card and is easier to counterfeit.

CAN I SERVE ALCOHOL TO A KNOWN ALCOHOLIC IN CALIFORNIA?

In California, it is illegal to serve alcohol to a drunkard or to an obviously intoxicated person. Breaking this law is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail.

Per Business and Professions Code, Section 25602(a), the exact term used is “habitual or common drunkard”. This means, if you know someone is suffering with alcoholism, you cannot serve alcohol to that person.

You may become aware that someone is a habitual drunkard if a friend or family member tells you the person has a drinking problem and asks you not to serve them, or if the person is a regular customer that consistently drinks to the point of intoxication.

CAN I SERVE ALCOHOL TO SOMEONE WITH A DISABILITY IN CALIFORNIA?

Yes. Persons with disabilities are allowed to purchase, possess, and consume alcohol under the same conditions as anyone else. The person must be 21 or over and not showing signs of intoxication.

Certain disabilities can affect a person’s speech or motor skills. This can cause a disabled person to exhibit behavior that is similar to that of an intoxicated person. Consequently, you should get to know your customers to make sure that any refusal of alcohol service is based on their state of sobriety, not a disability.

CAN I SERVE A CUSTOMER THAT IS SMOKING MARIJUANA IN CALIFORNIA?

No, you cannot serve alcohol to a customer that is smoking marijuana. If a customer is smoking marijuana at your establishment, the customer is breaking the law.

In 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64 on marijuana reform. Although Proposition 64 legalized small amounts of marijuana-related products for adults 21 and over, it is still illegal to consume marijuana in view of the public.

As with other forms of illegal behavior, servers should not allow a customer to smoke or otherwise consume marijuana on the licensed premises. If a customer refuses to quit smoking, they should be asked to leave.

CAN I SERVE ALCOHOLIC DRINKS THAT CONTAIN CANNABIS IN CALIFORNIA?

No, servers cannot mix cannabis with alcoholic beverages.

Per Health and Safety Code, Section 11362.3, the consumption of cannabis in a public place is prohibited. ABC liquor licensed businesses are considered public places.

Going one step farther, Business and Professions Code, Section 26054 states that cannabis products cannot even be sold at the same location as alcoholic beverages.

CAN I SERVE ALCOHOL TO A PARENT THAT IS ACCOMPANIED BY A MINOR CHILD?

If the parent shows no signs of intoxication, there is no law that prevents you from selling alcohol to someone 21 and over. However, you may refuse service if you have reason to believe the parent intends to supply alcohol to the minor child.

CAN SOMEONE UNDER THE AGE OF 21 PAY FOR A TAB THAT INCLUDES AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE?

No, it is against the law for a person under 21 to purchase alcohol. This law stands regardless of who actually consumes the alcohol.

As a server, you may want to keep in mind that a receipt could be used as physical evidence to support allegations that you furnished alcohol to a minor.

OTHER QUESTIONS

Please visit our Contact Us page and let us know how we can help.

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