Celebrate the Holidays, Sporting Events Responsibly

OIU, DOLC offer resources and reminders for consumers and liquor permit holders

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) and the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control (DOLC) remind consumers and liquor-permitted establishments to take the necessary steps to ensure a safe holiday season.

Patrons may crowd the bars and restaurants the day before Thanksgiving and throughout the week as sports fans will be turning out to bars to watch football and soccer games this year.

“We want people to enjoy the holidays with friends and family, but do so safely and responsibly,” said OIU Senior Enforcement Commander Erik Lockhart. “For these last few weeks of the year, bars, carryout stores, and restaurants should be extra vigilant to ensure patron safety.”

Staff should ensure they are not serving alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 years old and/or to customers who are already intoxicated. In addition, staff should watch for anyone attempting to tamper with drinks or bringing illegal drugs into the establishment.

“We strongly encourage our liquor permit holders and their staff to take advantage of OIU’s free Alcohol Server Knowledge (ASK) online training,” said DOLC Superintendent Jim Canepa. “It’s a great way to stay educated on the most up-to-date rules and regulations on the sale and handling of alcohol.”

The online class can be found by logging onto https://learning.dps.ohio.gov/ask.

Consumer Reminders

Consumers who venture out to Ohio’s bars and restaurants this holiday season are encouraged to eat food before drinking responsibly, stay hydrated, and don’t drive afterward. Instead, utilize one of the many options to get home safely such as a designated driver, rideshare, taxi, or public transportation. For more resources, visit https://www.responsibility.org.

The week of Thanksgiving has some of the busiest travel days each year. For Ohio residents and those who serve in the military abroad should refer to DOLC’s consumer guide on bringing alcohol from outside of the state for personal use at https://com.ohio.gov/consumer-alcohol.