ABC Launches Free Online LEAD Training


The Licensee Education on Alcohol & Drugs program reaches out to Licensees and their Employees

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has released a free online version of its award-winning training for alcoholic beverage servers on its website at

The Department’s Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) program helps prevent DUI’s by providing the alcoholic beverage industry with practical information on serving alcoholic beverages safely, responsibly and legally with an emphasis on preventing sales to minors, sales to obviously intoxicated persons, and illicit drug activity at licensed establishments.

“The LEAD program is designed to provide licensees and servers with the tools and knowledge needed to promote responsible consumption, keep alcohol out of the hands of minors, and make our communities safer. For over 25 years, ABC has been proud to provide this training to the industry in a classroom setting and free of charge. We are very excited to expand the accessibility of the program through the launch of a free online version.” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith.

The new training tool is a big step forward since some in the industry have previously travelled long distances to attend live training sessions in a classroom type setting. By offering this training online ABC is helping licensees and servers by increasing access and making it easier to get training. Live trainings will still be offered. ABC licensed businesses and their employees who are interested in the training program can learn more about where and when live training sessions are held @

Earlier this year, the California Legislature passed the Responsible Beverage Server Training Program Act. This new law requires all alcoholic beverage servers and their supervisors to complete an ABC-approved training course in responsible beverage service by July 2021. ABC is currently developing a program to approve training providers and expects approved providers to be in place by early 2021. ABC’s classroom and online LEAD training will continue to provide a valuable resource to the industry until training providers are approved to provide training that would satisfy the new requirement.

The Online LEAD Training is made possible by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The LEAD program is in its’ 27th year and continues to add information and make improvements to better serve California’s diverse communities.ABC has trained over 350,000 California alcoholic beverage industry members since LEAD was created in 1991 with a grant from OTS.

ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. ■

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