Area Coalition Begins Study on Responsible Beverage Service

April 4, 2014

Columbia, SC – In an effort to study effective ways to prevent impaired driving, a local task force is introducing a study on responsible beverage service in Columbia.  The national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) granted funds to the task force at LRADAC to conduct a study which uses “Responsibility Toolkits” to help staff in bars and restaurants avoid over-serving their patrons.

Kristy Stoneburner with LRADAC said, “Data show that a contributing factor to the problem of impaired driving in our community is the over service of alcohol.  Strategies to prevent over-service, however, have not been thoroughly studied.  For that reason, we are studying the impact of the Responsibility Toolkit.”

Practical tools within the kit include a liability assessment survey, signage about over service, and training on how to recognize and refuse service to someone who is already intoxicated. Stoneburner added, “We hypothesize that bars and restaurants that receive these toolkits will have greater success in preventing over service than the bars that do not yet use the toolkit.”

The Responsibility Toolkits will be delivered to participating establishments Friday April 4th to be used between April 5th and April 19th.  Following the study, toolkits will be made available to bars and restaurants who were not participants in the study to help them address over service within their establishments.

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.