Alcohol Server Awareness Program (A.S.A.P.) — On Premise


The Vermont Department of Liquor Control
Mission Statement

The Department of Liquor Control purchases, distributes, and sells distilled spirits through its agency stores; enforces Vermont’s alcohol and tobacco statutes, with a strong emphasis on limiting youth access; educates licensees; and promotes responsibility. An integral part of our mission is to control the distribution of alcoholic beverages, while providing excellent customer service and effective public safety, for the general good of the state.

Schedule of Fines

Starting January 1, 2009 certain violations will result in a fine for the business. Businesses will be given a ticket which they must send to the Department of Liquor Control within 10 days.


The Vermont Department of Liquor Control (DLC) is a department whose main job is to enforce alcohol and tobacco laws in Vermont. The Liquor Control Board consists of three persons who are appointed by the Governor. The Liquor Control Board makes rules regarding the sale or serving of alcohol. The Board also enforces laws and rules regarding the serving, and use of alcohol.

One of the branches of the Vermont Department of Liquor Control is the Enforcement Division, which consists of the Chief/Director, 13 Field Investigators, 3 Education Investigators, 2 Lieutenants, and office support staff. This division enforces the laws and regulations that cover serving, giving, and using alcohol and tobacco products in the State of Vermont. This includes investigating complaints, making on-site inspections, doing compliance checks of alcohol and tobacco retailers, and providing education programs for schools, restaurant/bars/hotels, police officers, and others.

In Vermont, Liquor Board Rules are almost like state laws and are commonly referred to as regulations. A violation of a regulation could result in a fine, suspension, or revocation of the liquor license.

People who serve alcohol need to know what the alcohol laws and regulations are relating to the service of alcohol. Product categories covered during training sessions include malt beverages, vinous beverages, and spirituous liquors. These are defined as follows:

Malt Beverages: beer, porter, ale and stout, or malternatives such as hard lemonades containing not more than sixteen percent alcohol by volume

Vinous Beverages: fruit and other agricultural product-based fermented beverages containing not more than sixteen percent alcohol by volume

Spirituous Liquors: beverages containing greater than one percent of alcohol by distillation and vinous beverages containing more than sixteen percent alcohol

If you break Vermont laws or regulations, the Liquor Board could suspend or revoke the business’s alcohol or tobacco license if you are found guilty in a hearing, also, you personally could face a penalty.

Educational Program

The purpose of Educational Programs is to provide training to the server of alcohol about Vermont's alcohol laws and regulations. People who understand these laws will have fewer problems while working. We feel that education is important and the legislature agreed when they passed a law requiring training.

Education Regulation #3

Education Regulation #3 applies to all servers of alcohol. The law requires that:

* Liquor license applicants must be trained by a Liquor Control
Investigator prior to a liquor license being issued and;

* Every employee of the licensee who serves alcohol, including managers and owners must attend training prior to serving and once every two years thereafter.

If all employees are not trained the business will lose it’s liquor license for one day.

Responsible servers need to make sure there are no violations of regulations or laws and if there are problems they must correct them quickly.

The Department of Liquor Control is responsible for enforcing alcohol and tobacco laws and regulations in the State of Vermont. In order to make sure everyone knows the laws, the Department of Liquor Control provides establishments with this Alcohol Servers Awareness Program book so all employees can be trained. The Department encourages those people who have liquor licenses to properly train their employees so that people will sell alcohol and tobacco responsibly.
The Vermont Department of Liquor Control also offers seminars conducted by a member of the department. Anyone is welcome to attend these classes. To find out when there is one in your area please go to our web page at

Alcohol: Use and Abuse

It is important that the server of alcohol understands his or her responsibilities and also the reason why you need to control who you can serve alcohol to and who you can’t.
As an example, there is a relationship between alcohol use and criminal behavior and other social problems. That is because the use of alcohol causes people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. This doesn’t mean that every time a person drinks they will commit a crime. It also doesn’t mean that the alcohol forces a person to do wrong things. When a person drinks it affects the brain and prevents them from making proper choices. The consequences of alcohol's misuse can also have an impact on the server of alcohol. Any time a law is broken it can cause many different problems. The server may face a penalty and the liquor license also may be in jeopardy.

Liquor Liability: The Dram Shop Act

Servers of alcohol may be held civilly responsible for improperly serving alcohol.
The so-called “Dram Shop Law” allows certain people who are injured to get money damages from the person who served the alcohol. A person can get money damages if you:

* Serve alcohol to a minor

* Serve alcohol to a customer who is already under the influence of alcohol

* Serve alcohol after legal hours

* Serve alcohol to someone who would be under the influence of alcohol as a result of the amount of alcohol that they were served. (You should never serve an unreasonable amount of alcohol to a person)

It is helpful to know and follow the liquor laws so you can avoid these types of problems.

It may be a good idea for servers to keep a personal log of any unusual things that may happen If something unusual happens when you are working you should write down what happened into a notebook for you to keep The notes should include the name and/or description of the customer and a brief write-up of what happened. Dram shop lawsuits can be filed up to two years from the date of the incident Because, most people can’t remember what they did two years ago, it is best to write down the information for you to refresh your memory later. It is important for the server to keep his or her own log, so if you move onto another job later you can take it with you. The establishment is also encouraged to keep a log book.

Intoxication: The Effects of Alcohol on the Human Body

It is very important that a server understand how alcohol works on the human body. Remember that alcohol is a drug and has very different effects on different people.
When a person drinks alcohol it goes to the stomach and small intestines where it goes into a person’s bloodstream. After alcohol gets into the blood it goes throughout the rest of the body. A person’s brain uses a lot of blood; because of this a lot of the alcohol ends up affecting the brain. Alcohol puts certain parts of the brain to sleep. Which parts of the brain it puts to sleep depends on how much alcohol the person drank. The more alcohol a person drinks, the more the brain goes to sleep.

The first part of the brain that alcohol affects is the higher learning center. This is the part of the brain that controls judgment and reasoning. As more alcohol is consumed, the next part of the brain that is affected is the part that controls muscles . This is the part that causes people to have problems walking, standing, and talking. If a person consumes more alcohol their vital functions are affected. If the vital functions are affected, the person’s heart and lungs will stop working and the person could die.
A person can add alcohol to their system as fast as they can drink it, but it doesn’t leave that way. Most of the alcohol leaves the system through the liver (approximately 90%). A small amount of alcohol leaves the body through a person’s breath and sweat (approximately 10%). A person can build up a tolerance to alcohol. A person who drinks alcohol on a regular basis learns how to manage the effects of alcohol. It doesn’t mean that alcohol is being processed differently; it just means that they know how to hide the signs that they have been drinking.

Women have more water in their bodies than men. If a woman and a man were to drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman might appear more intoxicated because of the amount of water in their body. The water doesn’t allow the alcohol to be broken down as quickly.

As you can see, alcohol affects each person differently. For the average person it takes about one hour for alcohol to leave their system. If a person drinks more than one drink in an hour the alcohol backs up in their system and begins to affect the brain.

Many people think that they are better off drinking beer than hard liquor. This is a very common myth but the truth is that a drink is a drink is a drink. One 12-ounce domestic beer, one 8-ounce microbrew, one 5-ounce glass of wine, and 1 ounce of 80 proof liquor all contain about ½ ounce of ethyl alcohol. A person’s body can only get rid of ½ ounce of ethyl alcohol in an hour, on average. Remember, when counting drinks be sure you are counting them correctly. A mixed drink usually contains more than 1 ounce of alcohol.

You may come across a person who has been drinking alcohol and is showing signs that they have been drinking. They may have slurred speech, watery eyes, staggering, and swaying etc. If a person is showing any of those signs you cannot serve to them.

Some signs of intoxication may include slurred speech, watery eyes, and staggering. One method for determining whether or not the server should provide alcohol to a customer is the “SIR Program”. “SIR” stands for:
“S” – Size them up. First, determine whether the customer is over the age of 21, the legal age in Vermont to purchase, possess or consume alcohol. This is also an opportunity to determine whether a customer is already intoxicated.
“I” – Interview the customer. By making conversation, observe whether the customer exhibits signs of intoxication such as slurred speech or difficulty making decisions.
“R” – Rate the individual. Determine whether the individual may already be intoxicated. Remember that a person can be intoxicated at any time of the day. If you determine that the customer has already been drinking, that customer should not be served.

You need to remember to Size up the customer, Interview the customer, and Rate the customer to decide if you are going to serve them alcohol or not. Again if you determine that a person is intoxicated you cannot serve them alcohol. The regulation that says this is General Regulation #18.

Intoxication: General Regulation #18

General Regulation # 18 says: No alcoholic beverages shall be sold or furnished to a person displaying signs of intoxication from alcohol and, or other drugs or substances. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed on the licensed premises by any person displaying signs of intoxication. No person displaying such signs of intoxication shall be allowed to stay on the licensed premise unless under the direct personal supervision by a licensee or his or her employees in a segregated non public area when the patron’s immediate departure could be expected to pose a risk of bodily injury to the patron or any other person.

General Regulation #18a states: An employee shall not serve alcohol to a person whom it would be reasonable to expect would be under the influence as a result of the amount of alcohol you served them. Basically, you need to be aware of how much alcohol you are serving to a person whether or not they are showing signs of intoxication.

If a person seems like they are intoxicated, even if you know they haven’t been drinking, you must take action.  When you can hear and see that the customer appears to have been drinking you must not serve alcoholic beverages to them.  You also can’t allow them to stay on the premises if they show signs of intoxication.  Some signs of intoxication may be things like slurred speech, staggering, swaying, glassy eyes, confused look, acting confused and delayed reactions.  You cannot serve someone so much alcohol that it would make them intoxicated.  See if you can make a list of at least 5 signs of intoxication

Intervention Techniques: How you can refuse sale

When a server believes that someone is showing signs of intoxication they must take action.  Most servers who have worked in licensed establishments for a long time will tell you that this is one of the hardest parts of the job.  Even though this may be true some of the time it does not have to be that difficult.


            There are ways of dealing with customers that do not work at all.  One thing that won’t work is to walk up to a customer and tell them that they are drunk and that they have to leave.  An intoxicated person may feel that you are judging them and may become upset.  Always try to remain professional and in control.  You always need to try to do things without threatening or judging people.  You always have to have the proper attitude.  It sometimes helps to explain that it isn’t your decision that they leave but it is the law or the policy of your boss.


Sizing up the person you have to refuse is very    important.  Use the "SIR" method.  Size up the   person, Interview them to figure out whether they are exhibiting signs of alcohol's impairment and Rate them.  This does not mean that you have to   directly question them about how much they have had to drink.  It means that you have to talk to the person to find out if they show signs of intoxication.

Once the “SIR” method has been used, if you determine that the person is displaying signs of intoxication, the “MAAM” method may prove useful. “MAAM” stands for:
“M” – Move the alcohol. Take the alcohol out of the person’s reach. This technique accomplishes two things: it removes a potential weapon, and it shows that you are not going to allow them to keep consuming.
“A” – Assert the law. Inform the person that state law prohibits you, as the server, from serving alcohol to them. This technique is useful because it indicates to the person that this is not a personal decision but is the law you are required to enforce.
“A” – Maintain a proper attitude. It is the responsibility of the server to remain in control, cool, calm and professional.
“M” – move on to the next customer. This technique is effective because it enforces the seriousness of the server’s decision not to provide alcohol to the customer who is already exhibiting signs of intoxication. Remember, if you are not going to serve to them because they are intoxicated, you cannot allow them to remain on the premises.

If a customer starts yelling at you or physically hitting things you should request additional help. You could ask for help from another employee, a manger, or if you need to, call the police.

If the customer tries to steal the product and run you should follow the STOP method.

“S” – Stay in the establishment. You should never follow a customer outside the building.

“T” – Temper control. It is important to remain calm. Getting upset is not going to help anyone.

“O” – Observe the person, whenever possible, if you can watch where they go so you can give that information to the police if necessary.

“P” – Post the incident. You should keep track of strange events just in case you need it later.

People who have served alcohol for a long time will tell you that you should expect the unexpected.  You never know what could happen when you try to speak with an intoxicated person.  If there is someone else in the establishment you should tell him or her that you are going to speak with an individual that you think is intoxicated so they will be there to assist you if you need it.  It is sometimes easier for someone else to speak with the person.  Believe it or not female servers sometimes have an easier time telling males that they can’t drink or purchase alcohol.  Often, male servers have an easier time telling females that they can’t drink or purchase alcohol.  Be aware of your strengths and if you are concerned talk to your boss about other ideas. 

Can you think of any ways to refuse service to someone?           

Talk with your boss about the policies of the establishment.  Does your boss want you to call the police if someone starts yelling and fighting with you?

If the person becomes physical or tries breaking things it may be wise to call the police and have them issue a notice of trespass, which will keep them from coming back to the establishment. This is something you should talk with your boss about.

Always remember it may be hard to tell a customer that they can’t be served alcohol in your establishment but it is still the law. If you do serve a customer that is intoxicated the establishment could be closed down and you could possibly be sued. This is why it is important that you properly screen customers when they come into your establishment. You are only responsible for your customers so if you serve to them you have taken on responsibility for them.

Make sure you check with your boss about the policies of the establishment
Remember you can be held liable if you serve to someone who is intoxicated . It is important to learn ways to refuse sale. There are lots of ways to refuse.
Can you think of any?

Minors: The Drinking Age

General Regulation #13: No alcohol shall be sold or furnished by a licensee or his or her employees to a person less than 21 years of age.

The drinking age in the State of Vermont is 21. People must be 21 to buy, drink or possess alcohol.

The law allows 18-year-olds to serve alcohol in a licensed bar, restaurant, hotel or club.

Penalties also exist for individuals who serve or furnish alcohol to a person under the age of 21.

There are also penalties that exist for minors who attempt to purchase alcohol. They are as follows:

Vermont law says that people under 21 cannot purchase, possess, or consume alcohol. The law says:

A minor ages 16-20 shall not:
Falsify their age in order to get alcohol. They cannot say they are over 21 or use a fake ID.

A minor 16-20 shall not possess alcohol. They cannot have alcohol in their possession (unless it is while working at an establishment and then they can only have the alcohol in order to sell or serve it)

A minor 16-20 shall not drink alcohol.

If a person does purchase, attempt to purchase alcohol from you , possess, or consume alcohol, they will have to complete a Teen Alcohol Safety Program (TASP), If they fail to complete the TASP they must pay a $300 penalty and have their driver’s license suspended for 90 days

If an underage person tries to buy alcohol from you don’t hesitate to call the police. After all, they are trying to get you in trouble by purchasing alcohol from you.

Beyond the first offense,
or if the person is under 16 and they:

Falsify their age in order to get alcohol,

Possess alcohol (unless working at a licensed establishment where they can only have the alcohol in order to sell or serve it)

Purchase alcohol/or attempt to purchase alcohol

(4) Or they drink alcohol

They will have to pay a fine of up to $600.00 and may spend up to 30 days in jail and a license suspension of 120 days.

Furnishing/Selling Alcohol to a Minor

It is the responsibility of the server to ensure that the customer is over the age of 21 before they serve alcohol to that person. If you serve or give alcohol to a minor you can face a criminal penalty under Title 7 Vermont Statutes Annotated Section 658

You are responsible to make sure you are not serving to minors. You are also responsible to make sure that minors aren’t drinking on the premises.

Title 7 V.S.A. Section 658 states:

No one can sell or give alcohol to a person under 21 and no one can allow a person under 21 to drink alcohol.

The penalty for selling to a minor or enabling consumption by a minor is a fine of up to $2000 and up to 2 years in jail, or both.

In addition, if a person sells or provides alcohol to a minor or allows a minor to consume alcohol, and that minor, as a result of consuming the alcohol, causes death or serious bodily injury to anyone while operating a motor vehicle, the penalty becomes a felony with a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 5 years in jail.

The only exception to the above law applies to servers who furnish alcohol to a minor during the course of a compliance check performed by law enforcement. The penalty for a first offense is a $100 fine; the penalty for subsequent offenses can be as high as $500.

In addition to the penalties outlined above, a licensed establishment may be fined or have their license suspended or revoked by the Vermont Department of Liquor Control for serving alcohol to a minor.

How to Identify a Minor

As mentioned about before it is important that a server of alcohol make sure they only serve to customers that legally can purchase and consume alcohol. The server must be watching customers to figure out if a customer is old enough. If there is any question in your mind you need to ask for ID.

Regulation #14 says that if someone is of questionable age you must ask for an ID

As a server, you have to remember that people who are under 21 will try to make themselves look older than they really are. Women may wear makeup to make themselves look older than they really are. A person under 21 will also try to act older. They may seem overly confident and may argue with you about their age. The person may try to act invisible or kind of hide so they don’t look obvious. Usually by doing this they look more obvious. The important thing is to watch for any action that seems out of the ordinary. Remember, when a person is under 21, getting alcohol is a big deal. Once the person turns 21, buying alcohol is not a big thing anymore.

Regulation #14: If someone is of questionable age you MUST ask for an ID.

Most servers who have been working awhile will tell you that it is easy to find a minor before they even get to the bar/table. This is because they look and act underage. Always remember that it is the customer that has to prove to you that they are 21. If you are not positive that they are 21, DO NOT SERVE TO THEM.

Because of the fines and possible time in jail it is better to be safe than sorry. People under 21 do act differently than adults. You usually will be able to spot a minor before they get to the bar/table. They usually will park their car at the far end of the parking lot when all of the other customers park as close to the front entrance as they can get. They may ask for the price list to find out what is the cheapest. Some will be wearing their high school jackets with their year of graduation right on the jacket.

There really are many signs that minors show when trying to buy alcohol. You should try to find out when special events are going on in your area such as ballgames, dances, proms, graduations, and other school events. During these times you may see more minors trying to buy alcohol.

Identification Cards - Proof of Age

It usually comes down to ID cards. The question that servers usually ask is: “what should I accept, and what can’t I accept?”. After all, your job, a criminal penalty, fine, suspension, or revocation of the liquor license are all on line if you answer the question wrong.

The only ID cards that you can accept in Vermont are a valid driver’s license or non-driver identification card with a photo from Vermont or any other state or Foreign Jurisdiction. You may accept a valid Passport, and a valid United States Military Identification card. If you accept anything else you could be charged criminally and put the liquor license in jeopardy.

Buying and consuming alcohol is a privilege, not a right. You, the server, decide whether a person gets alcohol or not. Again, if you have any questions whether the person is 21 or not, do not serve them. If the ID card does not look right,

Some steps that are helpful when asking for IDs are:
Ask the person to take the ID out of whatever they have it in, so you can handle it. Don’t ever take someone’s wallet or purse, as you don’t want them to accuse you of stealing anything.

Look at the ID for signs that it may have been changed. Do not accept any ID that has peeling lamination or curled edges.

Check the photograph to make sure that the person presenting the ID matches the picture. Keep in mind that some people may change features of their appearance, such as hair color or facial hair; more permanent features such as bone structure of the chin, cheeks, and ears seldom change.

Check the IDs expiration date to make sure that it is valid. If the ID is not valid it cannot be used to purchase alcohol. Often minors will use their older sibling’s expired license to attempt to purchase alcohol. Check the date of birth on the ID to make sure the customer is over 21. Many times servers accept IDs of customers who are under 21. This can be avoided by calculating the customer’s age.

After you have the ID in your possession the following suggestions may be helpful.


Ask the person how old they are, and compare that to the information on their ID.

Ask the person to spell their last name.

Ask the person what their middle initial stands for.

Ask the person what year they graduated from high school.

Have the person sign their name and compare it to the signature on the ID.

Watch for facial expressions and eye movements that may indicated that the person is not being honest. 


You also can call our ID hotline if you think you are looking at a fake ID.  

Vermont IDs


All Current Vermont IDs are color coded. A green color strip means the person is over 21. A purple strip means the person is 18, 19, or 20. An Orange strip means the person is under 18. Vermont IDs issued after 2003 are vertical if the person is under 21. They contain the date when the person will be turning 18 and 21.


Drugs/Fights/Unlawful Conduct



Servers must be aware of the conduct of their patrons at all times. General Regulation #37 basically says: It is the duty of the licensee to control the conduct of their patrons at all times. You cannot allow any disturbances, brawls, fighting or illegal activity on a licensed premise. You also cannot run your business in such a way that your patrons cause a problem on the sidewalks or streets outside your place of business.

This means that if a person becomes aggressive in your establishment you must handle the situation before it gets worse. As you read earlier you may need to call the police for help with the problem. Sometimes you may be able to stop the problem before it gets worse by making a person leave before they become aggressive.

Take a minute and think about a time that you may remember when you knew a person was going to be trouble before the trouble started. Those are the things you are watching for. If a person acts like they may cause trouble, stop it before it happens. It is easier to handle a problem early than just waiting for it to go away because it rarely does.

The regulation requires that the licensee run their business so that the parking lots, streets, sidewalks and highways adjacent to the business do not become a public nuisance. In other words, don't tell customers to take their fight outside; deal with it instead. It is your responsibility to take care of the problem.

The regulation says, "No disturbances, brawls, fighting, illegal activity, shall be permitted or suffered upon any licensed premises;" The wording "illegal activity" means anything that is against the law such as drug activity, or allowing people to smoke inside the establishment. If you think that anything illegal is happening on or around the establishment, you must take immediate action to stop it. This may include calling the police department.

Some signs of drug activity could be a customer that makes a high number of telephone calls from your establishment, or unusual and a lot of activity around your bathrooms. It could also include a person who leaves for a very short period of time and then returns several times. Also if you smell marijuana on someone’s clothes it may be a sign drug use.

What you are going to do depends on the situation. You may ask the person to leave your establishment by yourself or you may want help from the police. You also may want to pass on the information to your liquor investigator or to the local police department. Whatever you do you must deal with it fast because it only takes a few incidents before your establishment gets the reputation as being a drug establishment. No smart business person wants that reputation.

Other Various Regulations

Here are some other various regulations that a server needs to be aware of. The program that we have presented you is not meant to be a complete manual to being a responsible server of alcohol. It is meant to be a general guide of things that seem to cause servers most problems.

First Class Hours of Sale: Licensed bars/restaurants/hotels/clubs may sell alcohol 7 days a week from 8:00 am until 2:00 am the next morning. You have to stop serving at 2:00 am but you can allow your customers a half an hour to finish consuming their drinks. No one may be drinking in the establishment after 2:30 am. On New Years Eve you can serve alcohol until 3:00 am.

Drinking on Duty

It is important to remember that drinking on duty is illegal.  General Regulation #17 states: “No licensee or their employees shall consume or display the effects of alcohol or any illegal substance while in the performance of their duties.  This also says that you cannot display the effects of alcohol or other drugs and work.  You are not allowed to drink on a break and then return to any type of job function at the licensed establishment (ex: answering phones, clearing tables etc.) 

Consuming Alcohol on the Premises

General Regulation #23 says that any alcohol purchased on an establishment must be consumed on the licensed premises. Drinks cannot be removed from the establishment to be consumed later. However if a customer purchases a bottle of vinous beverages with a meal and they consume part of it with their meal you may re-cork or re-seal the bottle and allow them to take it with them. We suggest drawing a line at the level of wine when they left the establishment.

Age of Seller

General Regulation # 15 states that a person must be at least 18 to serve/prepare alcohol in a first class establishment

Cooperation with Law Enforcement

General Regulations #8 and #8a require that servers of alcohol cooperate with Liquor Control Investigators as well as other Vermont law enforcement officers. If a law enforcement officer or a Liquor Control Investigator asks you questions you must answer them. Also, all records of the business must be kept at the establishment for a period of two years. This includes all certificates showing that everyone has been trained. If an employee is asked for identification all employees must show it.

Pricing of Alcohol

An establishment cannot give alcohol away.  All alcohol consumed on the licensed premises must be paid for and appropriate taxes must be collected.  In a bar/restaurant/club all tabs must be paid for at the end of every night.

Smoking in Establishment

Smoking is prohibited inside all licensed establishments


General Regulation #9 prohibits illegal gambling in any licensed establishment. An establishment may also sponsor any type of pool (Superbowl, Buck, etc) provided that the establishment is not making any money from that pool. All money from the pool must be paid to a winner or to a non-profit organization.

Display of Licenses

General Regulation #12 states that all licenses issued to an establishment, including the liquor license must be displayed where they can be seen by the public.

Proper Lighting

General Regulation #36 says that lighting in an establishment must be adequate enough to read IDs wherever people are located inside.


General Regulation #30 states that at all times there must be a responsible person on the licensed premises. Also, this regulation says that anyone who serves or prepares alcohol must be able to read, write, and speak English.

Locked Doors

General Regulation #35 says that if there is anyone on the premises who is drinking, then the doors have to be unlocked. Also, if there are people other than on-duty employees on the premises that the doors have to be unlocked. This is to allow people to enter the building if needed.

Re-using alcohol bottles

General Regulation #44 says that an establishment cannot re-use alcohol bottles and you cannot combine two bottles of liquor into one.


Drink Amounts

General Regulation #38 limits the amount of alcohol you can serve to a customer. The law says that you can only serve someone malt beverages in a maximum container of 32 oz. You also cannot serve more than four ounces of spirituous liquor to a person in one container. Also, you can allow someone to have two containers at once. However you have to remember that you cannot serve someone more that what is reasonable. For some people, two drinks at the same time is an unreasonable amount to serve to them. Also, if you are serving two drinks you are responsible to make sure you know where they are going.

Offering Food

General Regulation #45 says that at all times when an establishment is open they must offer food for sale. It is required that you have something to offer someone if they want something to eat. If you have any specific questions please call the local investigator or the Liquor Control Office

Getting Paid

General Regulation #46 says that all employees of an establishment must be hired by the licensee and paid on a fixed salary basis.

Drink Specials

General Regulation #51 deals with Happy Hours. The law says that an establishment cannot lower their drink prices for part of a day. If an establishment is going to lower their prices they must do so for the whole day. You also cannot allow games, contests, or promotions that encourage rapid or excessive consumption of alcohol.

Alcohol on the Premises

All alcohol that is on the licensed premises must have been purchased on invoice from a wholesale dealer or an in or out of state winery that is licensed to direct ship to retailers.

Wholesale Dealers

A licensee CANNOT accept anything of value from a wholesale dealer. (No free product, signs, point of sale advertisements etc.)

Required Sign

General Regulation #54 says that all bars/restaurants/hotels/clubs must have a sign posted that has the words “Do you have a Designated Driver.”

Compliance Checks

The Department of Liquor Control conducts compliance checks of establishments that are licensed to serve alcohol. In these compliance checks an individual under 21 will come into your establishment and attempt to buy alcohol. The minors working with DLC will not lie; however, other minors may. Because of this you should always be asking for IDs and not just asking the customer’s age.
Always remember to ask for the ID if someone looks of questionable age. Once you have the ID use some of the suggestions that are mentioned in the ID section of this booklet.

Tips to Assist Servers

Be familiar with current liquor laws and regulations.

Maintain a logbook for incidents that occur while serving alcohol – this log can track such things as name and description of patrons, or a brief description of an incident.

Other Information

There are other various regulations that you need to know if you are serving alcohol in an establishment. This book does not list all the laws and regulations. It is meant to be a general guide for servers.

If you have further questions speak to your boss or the liquor investigator in your area. You can also look up Title 7 in the Vermont Statutes. The Statutes are available online at the Vermont Department of Liquor Control website at They are also available at most public libraries and town clerks offices.

Record Keeping Responsibilities

Now that you have watched the Department of Liquor Control Video and have read this booklet, you are required to sign a certificate stating that you have been trained in liquor laws. Your boss should have this certificate available but if they need one they can access it on our website at Or, they can call our office and ask for one to be sent to them. This certificate must be filled out prior to you selling alcohol.
Once the certificate is filled out, make sure you know where it is in case you are questioned by a Liquor Control Investigator.
Congratulations, you have completed the training process. If you have any questions please ask the boss or call the local liquor Investigator.

Information for the Boss

As stated earlier in this booklet you are responsible for training all of your employees before they start working and then once every two years after that. You can have them watch the Vermont Department of Liquor Control Video and read this booklet or you can send them to a department sponsored seminar in your area. The seminars are located all over the state at different times. To find out when our seminars are in your area you can visit our website at or you can call our office at (802)828-2339.




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