Serving It RightServing It Right

BC’s Responsible Beverage Service Program

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The Changing View of Alcohol

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1. Governments and the public are concerned about various issues related to alcohol over-consumption, including chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease, injuries and car crashes along with overall public safety.

2. As a result, the Centre for Addictions Research of BC, the BC Ministry of Health, and other organizations across Canada are promoting low-risk drinking guidelines.

3. Young people are more aware than ever before of alcohol-related issues, as is evident in dry grads and designated-driver programs.

4. Laws and regulations have also changed as a result of the mounting evidence on the harms related to alcohol. For example, injured parties from alcohol related incidents are taking their cases to court, where, increasingly, judges assign a percentage of the fault to commercial hosts.

5. Courts are placing an expanding responsibility on the owners, managers and staff of licensed establishments to provide responsible beverage service.

6. Laws and regulations have been expanded as a result of the legalization of non-medical cannabis. The federal and BC governments have expanded criminal and provincial sanctions to address the increased risk to young people, and others, with ready access to alcohol and cannabis.

7. This may lead to a new wave of cases going to court, relating to incidents arising from the co-use of alcohol and cannabis. Cases outside BC such as in Ontario, have already found that commercial establishments must be vigilant for both alcohol and other intoxicants like cannabis when monitoring patrons.

The impact of responsible beverage servicelogo placeholder

Implementing a responsible beverage service program in every alcohol-serving establishment in BC can decrease service-related alcohol problems. An RBS program provides servers, managers and licensees with the knowledge necessary to meet their responsibilities, including eliminating the sale and service of liquor to minors and reducing over-consumption of alcohol on its own and in relation to other drugs like cannabis in licensed establishments.