MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

June 13, 2014

Liquor servers taught ways to spot fake IDs

Shawn Presley said he got a lot of great information about preventing serving someone with a fake ID and ways of spotting fake IDs.

“A good test is to have somebody sign their name on a piece of paper to compare that to the signature on the ID — something we’ve never done before, but it actually makes a lot of sense,” said Presley, manager of Max’s Garage. “I’m here to learn a little bit more about the specifics of the laws and to make sure that were are not doing anything that could get us in trouble or get anyone else in trouble.”

Educating employees about laws regarding beverage service and sales was the goal of a free class Friday in Muskogee.

The class was presented by the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission and Muskogee’s Neighbors Building Neighborhoods. The free community classes are conducted every three months, said Jeremy Little, a regional prevention coordinator with Neighbors Building Neighborhoods.

Jason Redfearn, who checks IDs at the Frog Wild Saloon, said he had attended a previous class.

“I would highly recommend that people from every bar in town come in. Everyone should be here,” said Redfearn, who also said employees at restaurants that serve alcohol should attend the class.

He attended Friday because his employer wants to make sure employees are “on point” regarding checking IDs to make sure they are valid.

“The boss wants us to have every angle covered,” he said.

Because Muskogee is a college town, there are always a lot of people from other states, and the class has been helpful in providing instruction in spotting fake IDs from other states, he said.

The purpose of the class was to make sure that businesses understand what their responsibilities when as it comes to selling alcohol, especially as it relates to selling to minors or selling to people who are intoxicated, said Erik W. Smoot, assistant special agent-in-charge for the ABLE Commission.

Smoot provides training around the state regarding responsible beverage service and sales.  

“If we can educate on top of enforcement, obviously, we want to make the biggest difference we can, and so we can reach more people through education than enforcement, we’re going to follow it back up with enforcement,” Smoot said.

Friday’s class focused on how to read an ID and to learn when to stop selling alcohol to an individual.

“It’s a felony in Oklahoma to sell to a minor, or to sell to a person that’s intoxicated,” Smoot said.

The class also was being presented to help reduce DUIs, he said.

“Oklahoma is ranked 51st in the nation for showing the least amount of improvement in alcohol-related fatalities,” Smoot said.

“Anything we can do to reduce the number of alcohol related fatalities, the number of drunk drivers that are getting on the roadways is all part of this education for bars, restaurants and liquor stores,” he said.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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