Mandated server training: barriers to effectiveness as reported by servers. 15th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, Stockholm, Sweden: 22-26 Sept, 2000.

Wheeler DR, Lewis ME, Saltz RF et al.


This study reports on a mandated server training program, Project SIRVE (Server Intervention Research, Verification, and Education) and the New Mexico Alcohol Server Education Act which mandated that every seller or server of alcoholic beverages complete a program based on a state-approved curriculum. The goals of Project SIRVE were (1) to identify factors which facilitated or obstructed its ability to change server behavior, and (2) to evaluate the impact of the law on serving practices within New Mexico. Analyses were based on the use of pseudo patrons and crash data, and on 41 tape-recorded interviews with 51 individuals, 33 servers, 14 managers and 4 owners. Alcohol servers did report an increase in awareness of New Mexico State laws, but indicated that there had been little change in their serving practices, understanding the effects of alcohol, knowledge of impairment versus intoxication, or knowledge of server intervention techniques. A number of barriers to server intervention were reported by the servers: (1) intimidation, (2) fear of losing tips, (3) lack of perceived management support, (4) job demands, and (5) their view of their relationship to patrons. Future server training should stress liability issues since most people cited this topic as the one of most concern. Other suggestions for improving server training include adding a component that focuses on managers' support and more interaction and role-play with situations given by servers/managers. 12 Ref.