Responsible beverage server training June 13, 20

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Two free training courses for anyone serving alcoholic beverages will be held June 13 and 20 at the Guttenberg Welcome Center. (Press stock photo)

By Molly Moser

Substance Abuse Services for Clayton County and the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department will present two free training courses relevant to those serving alcohol in bars and restaurants, at community events, or selling beverages from convenience stores and grocery stores. Guttenberg native Adam Sadewasser, certified prevention specialist for Substance Abuse Services for Clayton County, will lead the courses.

The courses will cover tips for spotting fake or altered identification, ways to gauge level of intoxication and refuse service if necessary, and how to avoid serving alcohol to a minor. The first event will take place on Wednesday, June 13, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Welcome Center in Guttenberg, 323 South River Park Drive, and a repeat of the same course will be held Wednesday, June 20, also at the Guttenberg Welcome Center. RSVPs are requested on or before the date of either workshop, and can be made by contacting Sadewasser at 563-245-1546 or

“The biggest one is going to be putting yourself in a position where you don’t serve a minor, because that will definitely result in a fine,” Sadewasser explained. Serving a minor can result in fines for both the server and the establishment, to the tune of $740 and $2,090, respectively. According to the Iowa Youth Survey, 21 percent of eleventh graders in Clayton County report having at least one drink of alcohol in the last 30 days, and 28 percent of those eleventh graders surveyed believe they would be more popular if they drank. The percentage of youth who believe adults disapprove of underage drinking has decreased in Clayton County in recent years.

“You also want to make sure you’re not over-serving someone, because if they go out and get into a wreck, the establishment and the server could be held liable,” he went on. The training courses will use a curriculum of intervention procedures to empower servers to ask for identification, monitor a person’s level of intoxication on a scale, and various ways to discontinue service to a person deemed to be intoxicated.

Sadewasser has worked for Substance Abuse Services for Clayton County for eight years as a prevention coordinator for all the schools in the county, presenting evidence-based programs to Central Community, Clayton Ridge, Ed-Co, MFL MarMac, Starmont, St. Mary's, and the Alternative High School on topics including illegal drugs, prescription drug abuse, alcohol, tobacco, conflict management and pregnancy prevention.

Substance Abuse Services for Clayton County has been serving the area for 35 years. In addition to prevention programs like the ones held in Guttenberg this month, the organization performs substance abuse evaluations for those charged with or convicted of substance-related offenses, or others who feel they need help. Staff facilitates referrals to appropriate levels of treatment with licensed programs, and provide information, resources and support for those who suffer from substance abuse and their families. Informational programs are available by request on topics such as alcohol use and abuse, illegal drugs, prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, tobacco, drug-free workplace programs, or other custom-designed programs to fit the needs of the audience.

The county-wide organization also offers consultations for private individuals with questions relating to substance  abuse,  treatment providers, law enforcement and the court  system. Information and assistance is available to businesses who are developing or updating substance abuse policies or Employee Assistance Programs, and technical assistance and resources are provided to area coalitions, health care providers and school systems. Readers may recognize one such coalition, 5C, which was created in 2011 with the goals of lowering underage drinking and adult binge drinking. Substance Abuse Services for Clayton County serves as the fiscal agent for 5C.

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