Bartenders, restaurants and bars could face hundreds of dollars in fines if a bill passes requiring alcohol server training.
The bill being coined “Alli’s Law” in honor of Alli Cousins, a Greenville teenager killed in a drunk driving accident, would require the 4-hour training for bartenders and servers.
Linda Cousins, Alli’s mother, described the high school senior and the night she passed away.
“She was a wonderful, wonderful person. She was so full of life and had such a bright future in front of her. She was a high school senior. Unfortunately, 20 years ago she went to a billiard parlor in Greenville and the bartender didn’t even ask to see her I.D.”
Shortly after leaving that parlor, Alli Cousins was killed in a single-car crash. Since then, her mother has been advocating for more legislation to make it tougher for drivers to get behind the wheel drunk.
Cousins was at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday where lawmakers discussed the BILL requiring bartenders to complete an alcohol training class.
Senator Luke Rankin from Horry county filed the bill. “It’s such an easy preventable thing to prevent someone from leaving a bar intoxicated.”
The training would teach bartenders how to identify intoxicated customers and consider life and physical consequences of intoxication.
Linda Cousins described the bartender as a gatekeeper to alcohol. “And if the bartender will keep that gate locked to underage people if the bartender would keep that gate locked to intoxicated people.”
The bill passed out of the committee and will head to the Senate floor, but there have been some concerns along the way.
“Why should someone who’s applying for their first job have to pay $35 to be trained to do something, why should restaurants have to do this,” said Senator Rankin addressing some of the questions that have been brought up.
The bill states the program can not cost more than $50 and can be completed online or in a classroom.
Restaurants and bars are already required to have a $1 million liability insurance policy to cover any damages that might occur from a patron becoming intoxicated at that establishment.