SAVANNAH, GA – March 10, 2021 – Beyond the Bell Savannah and the members of the Savannah Prevention Coalition have teamed up with the City of Savannah to launch the Safe Bars and Alcohol Service campaign (SBAS) to provide a proactive approach to promote responsible drinking among patrons and restaurant service staff.
The Savannah Prevention Coalition is a group of concerned community members, professionals, and volunteers who work to cultivate positive behaviors in our Savannah youth and families. Members initially met with Alderwoman At-Large Kesha Gibson Carter to discuss alcohol awareness concerns. According to the City of Savannah, over 3,000 businesses lose their license and are cited every year due to selling alcohol to minors. SBAS looks to provide resources to these businesses to implement practices to ensure their patrons are being safe and responsible with alcohol. Even though the St. Patrick’s Day festivities are different this year, many underage children will still attempt to illegally purchase alcohol causing businesses to suffer serious fines and consequences.
SBAS will offer resources and promotional material to downtown businesses that reinforce the key topics employees receive in their mandatory training such as posters, wallet cards, rack cards, and more. SBAS will offer additional abbreviated trainings that highlight key topics for employees as well as sexual assault intervention training. These trainings will extend to include other employees like managers and bouncers who require their own specialty training that is currently not offered.
The City of Savannah requires that all employees of alcohol outlets receive Alcohol Awareness training once every two years. The Savannah Prevention Coalition believes that additional support is appropriate as many alcohol related incidents continue to occur in our community. Memorial Health University has reported a 67% increase of alcohol related crashes in 2020. In 2019, The City of Savannah reported 649 DUIs, 88 rapes including alcohol, and 88 public drunkenness citations in 2019. With the continued development of alcohol outlets and zoning in our city, a prevention mindset is key to reduce harm.
“The Safe Bars and Alcohol Service campaign aims to create a more educated and aware group of business owners and staff that can recognize dangerous situations in their establishments and intervene for the safety of their patrons and business,” said Lindsey Grovenstein, Region 5 Coordinator of Beyond The Bell Savannah. “I’d like to thank the City of Savannah for advocating for this program partnering with us for this important initiative and acknowledge all of the hard work undertaken by Alderwoman At-Large Gibson-Carter to spearhead this initiative.”
Beyond the Bell Savannah’s mission is to reduce the early onset of alcohol, drug, and substance abuse among 9-20 year-olds in Savannah. Along with the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), Beyond The Bell provides tools and evidence-based strategies to train, educate, and support youth and families in the prevention of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use and abuse in the Savannah community.
For more information about Beyond The Bell and its programs/resources, please visit www.beyondthebellkids.org.
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