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Alcohol Risk Management: Project ARM

Principal Investigator: Alexander Wagenaar, Ph.D. , Professor
Publications Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Toomey T.L., Wagenaar A.C., Gehan J.P., Kilian G., Murray D., Perry C.L.
Article Title: Project ARM: Alcohol risk management to prevent sales to underage and intoxicated patrons
Journal: Health Education & Behavior
Volume/Issue/Pages: 28, 2: 186-199
Year: 2001
Clear policies and expectations are key to increasing responsible service of alcohol in licensed establishments. Few training programs focus exclusively on owners and managers of alcohol establishments to reduce the risk of alcohol service. Project ARM: Alcohol Risk Management is a one-on-one consultation program for owners and managers. Participants received information on risk level, policies to prevent illegal sales, legal issues, and staff communication. This nonrandomized demonstration project was implemented in five diverse bars. Two waves of underage and pseudo-intoxicated purchase attempts were conducted pre- and postintervention in the five intervention bars and nine matched control bars. Underage sales decreased by 11.5%, and sales to pseudo-intoxicated buyers decreased by 46%. Results were in the hypothesized direction but not statistically significant. A one-on-one, outlet-specific training program for owners and managers is a promising way to reduce illegal alcohol sales, particularly to obviously intoxicated individuals.
Publications Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Gehan J.P., Toomey T.L., Jones-Webb R., Rothstein C., Wagenaar A.C.
Article Title: Alcohol outlet workers and managers: Focus groups on responsible service practices
Journal: Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education
Volume/Issue/Pages: 44, 2:
Year: 1999
We conducted focus group discussions with managers, bartenders, waitstaff, and security staff of on-sale, retail alcohol establishments (i.e., bars and restaurants). The purpose of the focus groups was to identify beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and practices among management and staff to guide development of training programs. Results indicate that, compared to management, staff had received more training and felt greater responsibility for patron behavior. Although staff wanted written establishment policies, few staff or managers indicated having such policies on file. Retail alcohol establishments need manager training programs that emphasize policy development and enforcement.
Publications Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Toomey T.L., Wagenaar A.C., Kilian G.R., Fitch O.B., Rothstein C., Fletcher L.
Article Title: Alcohol sales to pseudo-intoxicated bar patrons
Journal: Public Health Reports
Volume/Issue/Pages: 114, 4: 337-342
Year: 1999
OBJECTIVES: Many establishments serve alcoholic beverages to obviously intoxicated patrons despite laws against such sales. To guide the development of interventions to reduce these illegal alcohol sales, this study used actors feigning intoxication to determine whether servers recognized obvious signs of intoxication and to assess the tactics servers used when dealing with intoxicated patrons. METHODS: Male actors ages 30 to 50 acted out signs of obvious intoxication as they attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages. If served during the first attempt, these pseudo-intoxicated buyers made second purchase attempts during the same visit. Observers accompanied the actors; after each visit, actors and observers recorded the servers' behavior and comments. RESULTS: Alcoholic beverages were served to actors portraying intoxicated patrons at 68% of first purchase attempts and 53% of second purchase attempts (62% of a total of 106 purchase attempts). The most common refusal technique was a direct refusal (68% of refusals), made with either no excuse or with reference to the actors' apparent intoxication level. Servers' second most commonly used refusal technique was offering alcohol-free beverages, such as coffee or water (18% of refusals). CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed to determine why servers who recognize intoxication serve alcoholic beverages and what training, outlet policies, and external pressures are needed to reduce illegal alcohol sales to obviously intoxicated patrons.
Publications Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Toomey T.L., Kilian G.R., Gehan J.P., Perry C.L., Jones-Webb R., Wagenaar A.C.
Article Title: Qualitative assessment of training programs for alcohol servers and establishment managers
Journal: Public Health Reports
Volume/Issue/Pages: 113, 2: 162-169
Year: 1998
OBJECTIVE: In an attempt to reduce the societal burden associated with alcohol-related problems such as underage drinking and drunk driving, some local communities and state governments mandate training programs for employees of establishments that serve or sell alcoholic beverages. This study was designed to assess the available training programs for employees and managers and to identify states that either mandate training programs or encourage them by reducing establishments' legal liability. METHODS: Training programs were identified through the Internet, key informants, and the research literature. Three researchers independently rated each of 22 local and national programs across 10 categories. In addition, the authors surveyed alcoholic beverage control agencies and legislative research bureaus in the 50 U.S. states. RESULTS: The results show that training programs are not standardized and vary widely in content, use of behavior change methods, and production quality. Most programs targeted waitstaff and bartenders. Only one program exclusively targeted owners and managers. CONCLUSIONS: National standards must be developed for training programs for servers, managers, and owners.

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