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4 The Daily Tar Heel Tuesday, March 31, 1987
Dy JENNIFER FROST
To serve or not to serve an
individual that next drink
that is the question many
bartenders and restaurant owners
have to ask themselves every time
they serve alcohol to customers.
The serving question came after
the North Carolina Dram Shop
Liability Laws passed last year,
.which raised the drinking age to 21.
The laws also made it possible for a
bartender or bar owner to be liable
for an accident involving a custo
mer who has been drinking at a
One person who can provide a
solution to this serving question is
Dr. Hugh Burford, associate pro
fessor of pharmacology and phar
macy at UNC and director of the
Alcohol Impairment Management
Services (AIMS) Workshop.
The program teaches bartenders
and restaurant owners how to rec
ognize when a customer has
reached the legal level of alcohol
impairment (0. 1 percent alcohol in
- The workshop also instructs indi
viduals to conduct sobriety tests
and to operate breathalyzers. Par
ticipants learn to protect their busi
ness from legal proceedings through
documentation of their interaction
with a customer.
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"1 guarantee if businesses are
serious about the program, it will
protect them," said Burford, who
also trains police officers to use
Burford devised his program last
October. Since then he has pres
ented it to businesses and insurance
companies locally and nationally.
"I talked to bartenders and found
that their increased liability under
the dram shop laws has increased
their insurance rates," Burford said.
Currently, five insurance companies
are considering Burford 's program.
The first session involves learning
to use body weight, sex and
number of drinks a person has con
sumed, as well as the physical
affects of alcohol consumption,
such as flushed skin, dilated pupils,
staggering or uncoordination, to
determine the level of impairment
resulting from alcohol.
The second session includes
learning to administer a sobriety
test and measure breath samples.
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Minzenmayer serves drinks at Slug's At The Pines
The dram shop laws are djs- -cussed
in the third session. Each
participant is also given test cases
as practice in diagnosing & client's
state of intoxication. The test
requires participants to give condi
tions which explain the dram shop
laws and to support their decisions
to serve or not to serve the custo
mer under those conditions.
The final session utilizes role
playing to provide practice in relat
ing to a customer the importance of
monitoring clients and the liability
of the business. The participants are
also presented with "sign-off"
sheets, which document their ref
usal to serve the customer. At the
end of the workshop, participants
are given certifications as proof of
"I give concepts practical situa
tions," Burford said. "If businesses
keep records and are careful and
change their practice of pushing
drinks on people, the workshop will
help them deal with their liability
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under the dram shop laws.
There are other programs already
operating in the United States
which are similar to his program,
such as TIPS in Washingtbn, D.C.,
according to Burford. Insurance
companies offer a 10 to 15 percent
discount on their insurance rates to.
businesses that participate in this
Joe Eakes, manager of Slug's At
The Pines, praised the technical
information in the program as well
as Burford's expertise on the sub
ject, his audio-visual presentations
and his role-playing exercises.
The overall spirit and concept is
good," Eakes said. "It's one thing
we (the restaurant industry) can do
collectively to show we care and are
not just out to make a buck off
alcohol, but are serving it in a
manner we consider responsible."
"I'm here," Burford said. "I'm an
expert and can give help to busi
nesses to deal with their dram shop
The AIMS workshop costs $50.
Group discounts are available, and
more, information is available
through Dr. Burford.
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Program not getting
much local response
By JENNIFER FROST
f lhe Alcohol Impairment
(AIMS), taught by UNC
pharmacy professor Dr. Hugh Bur
ford, is aimed at educating local bar
and restaurant owners to stop cus
tomers from having too much td
drink, but Burford's program has
not received good local response so
Currently, the only restaurant to
participate has been Slug's At The
Pines. Slug's manager Joe Eakes
said that the program helped to
increase the awareness of his staff
in recognizing those who had had
too much to drink. He said he
believes other businesses may not
want to take part because the pro
gram is not recognized by'insurance
Burford speculates that local
businesses have not responded due
to their high rate of employee turn
over, the fear of losing business and
the fact that the businesses here
Jiave not been faced with law suits.
According to managers and
owners of local businesses, the rea
son fot lack of response is mostly
time-related. Charles Smith, man
ager of the Rams Head Rathskeller
on Franklin Street, said, UI talked
to Burford four or five months ago
and have read the brochure. I think
it's a good idea. I'm just trying to
find the time."
He's Not Here manager Mark
Barnett had a different reason. His
employees participate in a program
similar, to Burford's which is spon
sored by the Alcholic Beverage
Control Board (ABC). "They
(ABC) come in here twice a year
and do a program for free. It's 45
to 50 minutes long and covers the
whole issue," Barnett said.
"I can tell you why he hasn't got
ten much response," Mike Leary,
owner of The Red Baron on Jones
Ferry Road, said. "Saturday morn
ing is a lousy time for a workshop
pertaining to the restaurants. I
work 17 to 18 hours Friday, so I
sleep on Saturday mornings. Satur
day is only a 12-hour day."
"lVe been intending to go," The
- Brass Rail's owner David Allen
said, "but the first time the price
was too high, and the second time I
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Avas too busy. It's (the restaurant
business) a'seven-day-a-week job so
it's hard to find the time off. If
anotheT workshop is offered and it
fits in my schedule, I'm interested in
Some restaurants, such as He's
Not Here, Four Corners and Pye
wacket Restaurant and Bar, are
involved with the WRDU desig
nated driver program. This pro
gram involves one person out of a
group of people designating himself
as the driver. That person receives
free non-alcoholic drinks and a gift
certificate from the restaurant.
Pyewacket owner David Bacon
says his restaurant has seen little
participation in the program. He
attributes this to the fact that his
clients are older and not heavy
Places such as the Carolina Cof
fee Shop say they are not involved
in Burford's or any program
because of their low bar crowd.
Few local restaurants may be
involved in a formal program
which deals with the methods of
estimating customer intoxication
and their liability when serving
alcohol, but they do have their own
internal methods, which involve
having employees monitor a custo
mer's number of drinks, refusing
service if the customer shows signs
of drunkenness and calling a taxi if
"I'm aware of the ratios of sex,
weight and consumption," Spanky's
manager Vince Fletcher said, "and I
tell the employees what to look for.
I usually cruise the crowd and point
out who's getting too much and will
cut off their service."
"We make a big effort to stop
people from getting too drunk," .
Magdelena's owner Ronnie Nah
mias said. "We stop serving them
and make them sit for awhile. We
won't let them walk out and go to
Businesses do support workshops
such as Burford's even if they have
not taken part in any. "I think my
staff is aware of the problem,"
Allen said, "but it's a show of good
faith on our part to take action to
curb the problem. It would help
Premier ' .