06/22/2015 11:36 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 01:12 EDT

Saskatchewan uncorks mandatory liquor server training to improve traffic safety

REGINA - The Saskatchewan government hopes new rules for people who serve and sell alcohol will reduce impaired driving, violence and underage drinking.The province says it will require servers and managers to take server intervention training.The training, which used to be voluntary, includes topics such as how to refuse service to people who have had too much to drink or are too young to order alcohol.It will also teach staff their legal responsibilities and liability when selling and serving.Don McMorris, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, says by the end of next June all owners and managers will be required to complete the training.He says new hires must take the training within 30 days of beginning employment.“Mandatory training is an important tool that will help ensure the responsible service of alcohol and the safety of patrons in the hospitality industry,” he said Monday in a release.The government says by June 30, 2017, there must be at least one person on each shift who has completed the training known as Serve it Right Saskatchewan.By June 30, 2018, all employees involved in the sale and service of alcohol must have completed the program.Jim Bence, president of the Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association, said the industry supports the decision to make the training mandatory.“Our members know that being responsible and keeping patrons safe makes good business sense,” he said in a release.The idea of mandatory training was a recommendation in a 2013 government report on traffic safety.