The Government of Saskatchewan is making training mandatory for employees who sell and serve alcohol. 

Serve it Right Saskatchewan teaches how to identify intoxication, cut off service, and ensure customers have safe rides home. 

In 2015, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that server intervention training will be mandatory by June 30, 2018, for everyone who sells or serves alcohol.

SIRS is a five hour course, taken online with a $30 to $50 fee or a six hour classroom workshop. Once completed, the certificate is valid for five years. The course is delivered by the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council.

Serve it Right Saskatchewan (SIRS) backgrounder says “The ultimate goal of SIRS is to promote responsible liquor service,” including preventing drunk driving. 

Brea Monaghan is a server at Smitty’s in Regina. She hasn’t taken SIRS yet, but disagrees that servers should be held responsible when a customer drinks and drives.

Monaghan says she cut off a customer who appeared intoxicated. The customer went to the lounge side of the restaurant and continued to drink. 

“My point,” Monaghan says, “is people will lie and sneak around to get drunk if they really want to.”

Nevertheless, Monaghan agrees that servers should monitor how much each customer drinks and encourages customers to have safe rides home. She says as a good server, she calls cabs for intoxicated customers, but doesn’t think this should be part of her job description: “It’s [the customer’s] responsibility to be a good citizen.” 

Wendell Waldron of Mothers Against Drunk Driving says SIRS is “completely and totally necessary” to prevent drunk driving. He says employees need to be held accountable for over-serving. “We don't want to keep putting people on roads who are showing signs of impairment,” Waldron says. 

An informal Facebook poll generated a variety of opinions. “If you are being served alcohol, you are an adult,” said one participant. Having a designated driver is a “personal responsibility,” said another. “I feel sorry for servers,” said another. 

On the other hand, one Facebook user said training to prevent damages from intoxication is necessary. 

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