Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: New rules are needed to create a responsible vendor program as directed by Initiative 1183 that passed on November 8, 2011. Emergency rules are needed to implement section 103 of I-1183.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Section 103 created new laws directing the board to establish rules for a responsible vendor program.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: Initiative 1183 passed on November 8, 2011. The emergency rules are needed to create a responsible vendor program for licensees selling spirits for off-premises consumption to ensure the public health, and safety of the citizens of Washington. Permanent rule making will also begin immediately for these rules.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: January 25, 2012.
WAC 314-02-108 Responsible vendor program. (1) What is the purpose of this chapter? The purpose of this section is to establish standards and procedures for a responsible vendor program for spirits retail licensees.
(2) What is the responsible vendor program? This program is free, voluntary, and self-monitoring. Spirits retail licensees who hold a responsible vendor certificate and maintain all requirements are eligible for reduced sanctions on their first public safety violation within any period of twelve calendar months.
(3) How do you become a responsible vendor? Any spirits retail licensee who meets the program standards may participate. To apply for a responsible vendor certificate, the licensee must have no public safety violations within the last two years and must complete and submit a board-provided application form. Board staff will review the application for completeness, and will:
(a) Certify the completed application clearly indicates the licensee has all program standards in place and send a certificate to the licensee; or
(b) Return an incomplete application that does not clearly indicate the licensee has all program standards in place. Staff will notify the licensee of the reason(s) the application is being returned.
(4) To qualify as a responsible vendor, a licensee must:
(a) Train each employee supervising or selling alcohol in responsible liquor sales. Licensees may require employees to obtain a mandatory alcohol server training permit from a board certified provider or train employees themselves using the training criteria specified in subsection (5) of this section; and
(b) In an area visible to employees, post the house policies on alcohol sales and checking identification. The licensee must have each employee read and sign the house policies which must include at a minimum:
(i) A list of acceptable forms of identification which are accepted at the premises;
(ii) Directions for checking identification for customers; and
(iii) The consequences for selling spirits to a minor or apparently intoxicated person.
(c) Have an on-going training plan for employees, to include annual training at a minimum. Examples of training include computer based training, video training, classroom instruction, and meetings. The training may be done individually or in a group. At a minimum, training must cover the topics listed in subsection (5) of this section; and
(d) Retain employee training records and signed house policies for three years and must be able to present employee training records upon request.
(5) What are the program standards, program content, and other requirements for the responsible vendor program? All training must include, at a minimum, the following:
(a) Guidelines for recognizing minors and apparently intoxicated persons;
(b) Forms of identification for purchasing alcohol;
(c) How to check identification and how to recognize false or altered identification;
(d) A requirement to check identification in accordance with house policies;
(e) Recommended actions for refusing sales of alcohol to minors or apparently intoxicated persons;
(f) A review of the consequences for selling to minors, and the importance of not selling alcohol to minors or apparently intoxicated persons;
(g) A review of house policies on alcohol sales. Each licensee must ensure that his/her employees receive training that covers the licensee's own house policies; and
(h) The standards and requirements for the mandatory alcohol server training stipulated in WAC 314-17-060 are deemed sufficient for employee's initial training for the responsible vendor training.
(6) What are the sanctions when a licensee violates liquor laws or regulations? For public safety violation, as outlined in WAC 314-29-020, involving the sales of spirits, the prescribed penalty is doubled. If a licensee has a certified responsible vendor program having all program standards in place, the board will impose the standard penalty detailed in WAC 314-29-020 for that violation. Any subsequent public safety violation involving spirits within any period of twelve calendar months will be double the standard penalties. Regardless of the type of alcohol sold; beer, wine, or spirits, WAC 314-29-020 is applicable.