People who serve alcohol in Gillette restaurants might have to get proof of their alcohol server training before the end of the year.
The proof - a badge specifying when their training will expire - will be issued by the city of Gillette.
For the past several weeks, the City Council has been discussing changes to the city code that would require alcohol server training badges. The Gillette Police Department and Substance Abuse Advisory Council asked the city to consider amending the code to require liquor establishments to keep records of their employees' alcohol server training.
The Police Department provides one of existing trainings for free - Training for Intervention Procedures. TIPs is a nationwide certification and is one of four alcohol training certifications approved by the state of Wyoming. The training takes about five hours and the certificate is valid for three years.
The city of Gillette started mandating that restaurants with liquor licenses provide alcohol server training for their employees last year. At the same time it allowed restaurant servers 18 and older to serve alcoholic beverages.
The idea to keep a record of the training is meant to keep the ordinance enforceable.
Although the Substance Abuse Advisory Council asked that the change applies to all liquor license holders, not just restaurants that serve alcohol, the council decided last month to take it one step at a time and apply it to restaurants only.
In an effort to avoid imposing more paperwork on restaurants, the city also decided to delegate the responsibility for keeping record of the training to the employees.
At the second reading of the proposed change Monday Councilman Robin Kuntz proposed that the city also require restaurants to keep record of the training. That would be a backup option if the employee left his or her badge at home the day a compliance check was done.
"I think it puts a little accountability on their part," he said. "The city will supply the badges already. I don't see why we couldn't supply the book for them to have the date when they were trained and have it available. And secondly, I think if that was the case, it would certainly help our police officers if they do go in and someone doesn't have the badge. All they would have to do is produce the book that shows when they were trained."
The council didn't approve of his suggestion.
Councilman Ted Jerred said that employees wouldn't be as responsible about wearing the badge if they know there is a backup option for the record.
The employee will be liable to receive a ticket if they show up to work without a badge. It is possible the fine would be removed if the employee provided a proof of their training to police but there is nothing in the ordinance that says that it would happen, City Attorney Charlie Anderson said.
The badge will include the name of the employee and the date when their TIPs training expires.
The third reading of the change will be Dec. 17 and will go into effect probably by the end of that week, Anderson said.
Police may later apply for grant money to buy a machine that would produce higher quality cards with protection from counterfeiting, Lt. Brent Wasson said.