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Alcohol Seller-Server Training State Requirements

Alcohol Seller-Server RBS Training - State Map

Our state-approved alcohol seller-server training courses provide you with all the necessary knowledge and techniques you need to be a responsible server of alcohol. (Choose State for more info)

Alcohol Beverage Service State Training Requirments as of January 1, 2015
Source: National Institute of Health (NIH) - Alcohol Policy Information System - RBS Training
Legend:   Mandatory     Voluntary     Mandatory & Voluntary     No Server Training Law

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | Washington DC | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

Why is Alcohol Seller-Server Safety Training Necessary?
Food safety and sanitation are integral to operating a successful food service. The safety of our food supply is a responsibility shared by consumers, producers, sellers and handlers. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that because of foodborne illness 76 million people fall ill, 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 Americans die annually. Because of these alarming statistics, many states require certification of food managers which may include a food safety exam.

Alcohol Seller-Server Training State Law Type

  • Mandatory - States that require at least some alcohol servers/sellers, managers, and/or licensees to attend training.
    The States that have established voluntary programs usually, but not always, provide incentives for retailers to participate in Beverage Service Training, but do not impose penalties for those who decline involvement.  Incentives vary by State and include:  (1) a defense in dram shop liability lawsuits (cases in which a third party sues the retailer for damages resulting from the retailer providing alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person); (2) discounts in dram shop liability insurance; (3) mitigation of fines or other administrative penalties for sales to minors or sales to intoxicated persons; and (4) protection against license revocation for sales to minors or sales to intoxicated persons.
  • Voluntary - States that provide incentives to licensees for servers/sellers, managers, and/or licensees to participate in training programs.
  • Voluntary and Mandatory - States may have both types of programs.  For example, a State may mandate training for new licenses and offer voluntary programs for existing licensees.  Alternatively, a State may have a mandatory program and offer a more intensive, voluntary program that provides additional benefits for licensees choosing to participate in both.
  • No Law - States that have no statutory or regulatory provisions pertaining to mandatory or voluntary Beverage Service Training and Related Practices programs.

Voluntary States: Incentives - These items depict the types of incentives that may be provided by States to encourage licensees to participate in Beverage Service Training and Related Practices programs.  States may offer the following incentives: 

  • (a) a defense in dram shop liability lawsuits (cases in which a third party sues the retailer for damages resulting from the retailer providing alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person);
  • b) mitigation of fines or other administrative penalties for sales to minors or sales to intoxicated persons;
  • c) discounts of various kinds, for example discounts in dram shop liability insurance or license fees; and/or
  • d) protection against license revocation for sales to minors or sales to intoxicated persons. 

Applies to:

  • On or Off-Premises Establishments - This column shows the applicability of identified mandatory or voluntary provisions to on-premises establishments, off-premises establishments, or both.  State statutes that do not specify whether the provisions apply to either or both types of establishments are coded as "Unspecified". 
  • New or Existing Licensees - This column shows the applicability of identified mandatory or voluntary provisions to new licensees, existing licensees, or both.  State statutes that do not specify whether the provisions apply to either or both types of licensees are coded as "Unspecified".

Employer Lawsuit Liability
Over the past years a growing number of alcohol liability lawsuits that have been settled both in and out of court have included attempts to collect damages from alcohol licensees for everything from auto accidents, personal injury, property damage, pregnancy, STD’s, rape and fights. As an employer, your best defense is to ensure all of your employees are RBS Certified within 30 days of employment.

Dram Shop Laws
Dram shop or dramshop is a legal term in the United States referring to a bar, tavern or the like where alcoholic beverages are sold. Traditionally, it referred to a shop where spirits were sold by the dram, a small unit of liquid.

Dram shop liability refers to the body of law governing the liability of taverns, liquor stores and other commercial establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. Generally, dram shop laws establish the liability of establishments arising out of the sale of alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently cause death or injury to third-parties (those not having a relationship to the bar) as a result of alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents.