Ohioans reminded to celebrate responsibly


COLUMBUS—The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control and the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) reminds Ohioans to be mindful this March when visiting their local bar or restaurant to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or watch the upcoming college basketball tournament games.

“We encourage bars, restaurants, and patrons to work together to ensure a safe St. Patrick’s Day,” said Ohio Investigative Unit Senior Enforcement Commander Erik Lockhart. “Patrons can take proactive steps by designating a driver and not consuming an excessive amount of alcohol. We also ask permit holders to educate their staff on recognizing signs of overserving and underage drinking to ensure safety.”

Liquor permit holders are prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages to underage individuals or allowing them to consume those beverages at their establishments. Proactive measures such as checking identification to verify customers are 21 or older—not just at the door but at the point of sale—are a good start. It’s also good practice for staff to compare the photo shown on the ID to the purchasing consumer and ask questions regarding the information contained on their ID.

In addition, permitted establishments should take measures to prevent staff or consumers from bringing illegal drugs, including cannabis, into their establishments, onto adjacent sidewalks, or into parking lots.

Whether they plan on celebrating at home or a favorite establishment, Ohioans are encouraged to have a game plan that includes drinking plenty of water, eating food before drinking beverages containing alcohol, and making plans for safe transportation.

“This is an exciting time of the year; however, it’s important that consumers and permit holders don’t lose sight of steps they should take to ensure all Ohioans can safely and responsibly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or watch their favorite basketball team in tournament action,” said Paul Kulwinski, DOLC interim superintendent and director of licensing.

Liquor permit holders or staff who want to ensure they are educated on the most up-to-date rules and regulations on the sale and handling of alcohol should complete OIU’s Alcohol Server Knowledge (ASK) program. The ASK program is available online and free for all participants. To access it, log onto the Ohio Investigative Unit’s website.

For more information, visit com.ohio.gov/SocialResponsibility.

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