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Ensuring Safety in Alcohol Service: Insights from South Carolina's Latest Editorial

June 12, 2024

The Importance of Proper Alcohol Server Training: Insights from South Carolina

In a recent editorial, the Post and Courier highlighted a significant issue facing alcohol-related establishments in South Carolina: the proposal to expunge the records of individuals convicted of selling alcohol to minors. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster vetoed this bill, emphasizing the importance of preserving criminal records to ensure that potential employers and other interested parties are fully informed about the histories of individuals they may hire. This stance is particularly relevant to those in the bar and restaurant industry, where the responsibilities of serving alcohol come with substantial legal and ethical considerations.

The Need for Transparent Hiring Practices

One of the key points raised in the editorial is the necessity for bars and restaurants to conduct thorough background checks on their employees. This practice helps ensure that those with a history of illegally serving minors or continuing to serve already intoxicated adults are not rehired without proper consideration. Governor McMaster's veto underscores the importance of transparency in hiring, which can help prevent future incidents and protect both patrons and the community.

Mandatory Server Training: A Step in the Right Direction

The editorial also calls for mandatory server training for bartenders and wait staff, a requirement that aligns with current laws mandating participation in a state-approved “merchant alcohol enforcement education program” for those seeking expungement of their records. This training is crucial for ensuring that employees are knowledgeable about state laws and best practices for alcohol service.

It is our belief that proper server training provides valuable education on topics such as checking IDs, recognizing signs of intoxication, and understanding the legal ramifications of serving alcohol to minors or intoxicated individuals. This training helps ensure that employees retain the information and apply it in their daily work, promoting a safer environment for patrons and the community.

Enhancing Safety and Accountability

By advocating for more stringent hiring practices and mandatory training, the editorial highlights the need for greater accountability and safety within the bar and restaurant industry. These measures can help reduce liability, protect customers, and contribute to a safer community overall.

It is our belief that mandatory training programs and thorough background checks are essential steps in ensuring that alcohol servers are well-equipped to perform their duties responsibly and ethically. Investing in proper training and transparent hiring practices can create a safer and more accountable industry, benefiting both businesses and the communities they serve.


The recent editorial from the Post and Courier sheds light on critical issues within the alcohol service industry in South Carolina. By addressing the need for transparent hiring practices and mandatory server training, bars and restaurants can better protect their patrons and contribute to a safer community. These measures are essential for ensuring that employees are knowledgeable, responsible, and prepared to handle the significant responsibilities that come with serving alcohol.

For more details, you can read the full editorial here.