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Server Intervention: Will it Work?

NCJ Number
Alcohol Health and Research World Volume: 10 Issue: 4 Dated: (Summer 1986) Pages: 12-19
R F Saltz
Date Published
8 pages
Server intervention is a broad set of strategies designed to create safer drinking environments by reducing the chances of intoxication and the risk of personal or other injury.
Server intervention exists at the legal and community levels including alcohol beverage control (ABC), criminal penalties, and dram shop laws at the legal level and planning and zoning ordinances to control type and density of retail outlets at the community level. The concept is most closely identified with modifying the policies and practices of drinking establishments, as well as training employees to implement anti-intoxication strategies. This study assesses server intervention at a licensed establishment based on four criteria: a location that had special concern for the welfare of its patrons, a fairly heavy rate of alcoholic consumption, a community where customers might be studied closely, and sympathy for the special needs of evaluation research. A control site with similar characteristics was also selected. Effective server intervention policies include reducing the risk of intoxication, the risk of customers driving while intoxicated, and the risk of underage drinking; improving staff morale; maintaining profitability; and developing good community relations. These goals were translated into specific club policies, procedures, and job descriptions following an assessment of the existing policies, operations, and staff and customer behavior. The curriculum emphasized that responsible serving practices complemented other aspects of professional service. The evaluation of the server intervention program analyzed the development process and its impact through interviews with employees, unstructured observations, participant observations, and questionnaires. Preliminary results, collected during the first four months of the program indicated that alcohol consumption had dropped at the intervention site. 2 tables, 12 references.