Chula Vista Takes Shot at Alcohol Ordinance

Bartenders, managers and owners at bars and liquor-licensed restaurants would undergo training if the ordinance is passed

By summer, it may be against the law in Chula Vista for restaurants serving liquor to employ people who haven't undergone specialized alcohol training.

If the proposed ordinance is passed, the city would become the tenth to require the training in San Diego County.

Bartender Deanna Reynolds creates exotic elixirs at the Manhattan Cocktail Lounge in Chula Vista.

On Tuesday evening, in between pours, she and her bar buddies discussed the city’s latest proposed ordinance.

“Don’t hate me,“ Reynolds said with hands raised. "I agree with it. "

The ordinance, read for the first time Tuesday at Chula Vista City Council, would force bartenders, managers and owners at bars and liquor-licensed restaurants to undergo training for R.A.B.S or Responsible Alcoholic Beverage Service.

It's similar to something called L.E.A.D training which many bartenders already get through a 4-hour class.

They learn information like how much is too much based on a person’s size.

During her 20 years behind the bar, Reynolds has gone through eight LEAD classes.

"It teaches you what you need to know. It keeps them fresh on laws. Changes in identifications and counterfeit money,” she said.

Chula Vista Police believe the training will help protect drivers.

“We can prevent crime and disorder issues, disorderly contact related to alcohol over usage,” explained Capt. Lon Turner.

City officials say the training will affect about 165 Chula Vista businesses with liquor licenses. Liquor stores are not covered in the ordinance.

Reynolds and her friends said "Cheers" to the new plan to help keep residents safe.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves. You want them to spend money and have a good time but my goal is to make sure everyone gets home safely,” Reynolds said.

Responsible alcohol service training is already the law in nine other cities in San Diego County.

Some of the big chain restaurants in Chula Vista are already compliant.

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