Pelham encourages responsible vendors

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—As Pelham looks to expand its retail and commercial sector and attract new businesses to the city, the City Council has remained consistent in encouraging businesses applying for alcohol licenses to participate in Alabama’s Responsible Vendor Program.

The Responsible Vendor Program is an educational training program overseen by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Started in Oct. 1990, the voluntary program seeks to educate all purveyors of alcohol on laws and responsibilities involved in the sale of alcohol. The program covers a variety of topics from legal matters, to identifying and preventing sale to minors, to the dangers of over-serving a patron.

“The program is designed to train individuals selling alcoholic beverages…on how to sell that alcohol responsibly,” Pelham City Councilman Ron Scott said. “Everyone who has applied for an (alcohol) license in the past two and a half years has been certified by the program.”

Offered at a “nominal cost,” completion of the program has “great benefits for the vendor,” Scott said. Certified businesses can receive lower insurance rates and alcohol license protection in the case of an employee mistake, allowing the owner to retrain the employee rather than lose their license.

The Responsible Vendor Program also benefits the entire community, and Pelham strongly encourages those applying for alcohol licenses to complete the program.

“We feel this (training) is critical to our community,” City Council President Rick Hayes said of the Responsible Vendor Program during a June 16 City Council meeting.

“It lessens the opportunity for an underage person to purchase alcohol and it lessens the opportunity for someone to be over-served, avoiding some of the tragic things that come along with (alcohol over-consumption),” Scott said. “It sends a message to the community that you, as a vendor of alcohol, have a desire to do the right thing.”