Op-ed: Expanded Alcohol Management Requirements Will Help Save Lives

Far too often, the irresponsible use of alcohol leads to tragic consequences that can have a lasting impact on the entire community. Such an event took place in 2007 when three people were killed in an accident caused by drunk driving. The driver who caused the accident had been served alcohol at multiple local businesses prior to the accident, despite visible signs of intoxication. Even worse, after being ordered to leave the bar, the bouncer helped guide the visibly intoxicated patron to her car after she unsuccessfully tried to enter the wrong vehicle. This preventable tragedy forever changed the lives of numerous friends and family who are still mourning this terrible loss.

Both of us have spoken with Lancaster County resident Susan Menges, whose daughter, Morgan, was one of the innocent victims killed in this terrible accident. As a result of Susan’s passionate advocacy, we have introduced legislation that would ensure all alcohol service personnel are trained to identify the signs of intoxication and understand the consequences of serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

Under current law, Responsible Alcohol Management Training is required for owners and managers of liquor-licensed establishments, as well as at least 50 percent of alcohol service personnel. Our proposal would broaden this requirement to include all alcohol service personnel. The result would be more knowledgeable, responsible and well-trained staff and management team focused on reducing alcohol-related problems.

The training program is offered by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. While the program focuses on the dangers of serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, participants are also trained to spot altered, borrowed or faked IDs to ensure minors are not served alcohol, preventing a whole host of problems associated with underage drinking.

No family should ever have to face the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one under such completely avoidable circumstances. We are proud to join Susan in the fight to better educate alcohol service personnel to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

CONTACT: Stephanie Buchanan (717) 787-4420


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