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BASSET Certification Required for All Cook County Alcohol Servers According to New Changes to Liquor Control Act

New training regulations for alcohol servers take effect on July 1, 2015. Public Act 098-939 amends the Liquor Control Act (the “Act”) to add Section 6-27.1, which requires all alcohol servers in Cook County to receive Beverage Alcohol Sellers/Servers Education & Training (BASSET) certification by July 1, 2015, or within 120 days of their employment, whichever is later.

Servers, Bartenders and Bouncers in Cook County Must Have the Training

Section 6-27.1 of the Act defines “alcohol servers” as “persons whose job description entails the checking of identification for the purchase of open containers of alcoholic beverages at retail or for entry into the licensed premises.” 235 ILCS 5/6-27.1(a). This definition includes all bartenders, servers, and bouncers who distribute alcohol or check identification in Cook County bars and restaurants. The Act excludes distributors who conduct tastings, volunteers distributing alcohol at charitable events, and instructors engaged in training on proper techniques for alcohol dispensing systems.

BASSET Certification Requirements

Servers (as defined) must complete a state approved BASSET training course and receive a certificate. A certificate of training belongs to the server, and a server may transfer it to a different employer, but shall not transfer it to another server. Proof that an alcohol server has been trained must be available upon reasonable request by state law enforcement officials. Certificates are valid for three years.

The state has established free BASSET certification courses throughout Cook County. A complete schedule and registration information can be found at http://www.illinois.gov/ilcc/Education/Pages/BASSET/Home.aspx. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is encouraging interested parties to sign-up early for these classes, as they expect each class to be at or near capacity.

Enforcement

The new regulations take effect July 1, 2015. On that date, all Cook County alcohol servers will be required to possess a BASSET training certificate. However, the state will not enforce monetary penalties until January 1, 2016. Prior to that time, enforcement of the new regulations will be limited to education, training, and notification of new regulations in order to encourage future compliance. 235 ILCS 5/6-27.1(h).

Moving Forward

These new regulations apply only to Cook County. If your municipality extends both to Cook County and another county, then it may be advisable to enact a local ordinance to establish uniform certification regulations throughout the municipality. If you have questions about how these new regulations may impact you, we recommend that you contact your municipal attorney or one of Tressler’s government attorneys. 

If you have any questions concerning this Special Alert or Tressler’s Local Government Law Practice Group, please contact:

Michael F. Zimmermann | 312.627.4020  | mzimmermann@tresslerllp.com


This newsletter is for general information only and is not intended to provide and should not be relied upon for legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The reader is advised to consult with an attorney to address any particular circumstance or fact situation. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author and not necessarily those of Tressler LLP or its clients. This bulletin or some of its content may be considered advertising under the applicable rules of the Supreme Court of Illinois, the courts in New York and those in certain other states. For purposes of compliance with New York State Bar rules, our headquarters are Tressler LLP, 233 S Wacker Drive, 22nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60606, 312.627.4000. Prior results described herein do not guarantee a similar outcome. The information contained in this newsletter may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. The articles are not updated subsequent to their inclusion in the newsletter when published. | Copyright © 2015