City ordinance could require bartender permits

By: Ian Hest

The city of Lincoln is looking into if bartenders should be required to obtain a permit before they can sell alcohol.

The permits would be very similar to what restaurant servers go through and would teach those who serve alcohol how to properly manage situations.

“You don't have to take it. If you don't want to take it, you're not going to work but it's not a big deal,” said Paul Tuttle with Bison Witches.

It is a new certification process, similar to food servers, and the city says it will make bartenders more accountable for serving minors and those overly intoxicated.

Last year, more than 6,000 people in Lincoln had to go through detox. That costs the city around $400,000 and they say the numbers keep going up. More people getting drunk and getting drunker.

“I think everyone could benefit form it because it's not going to do anything but help. Some of the people are still going to do the wrong thing and there's still going to be mistakes made and stuff,” said Tuttle.

In December, the city says they randomly checked 18 stores that sell alcohol. Three of those sold to minors and two even checked their ID before the sale. Bison Witches says they're one of the ones who do the right thing, but they think it's good for those who have the ability to sell alcohol to be more responsible. “It's an hour our of your day for the year. I don't think it's anything to complain about,” said Tuttle.

The permit certification process could be done online and take about an hour to complete. The cost for it would be around $20. The city council will have to approve all of this and so far, there is no time-table for when it might be discussed.