The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) has awarded a $99,800 grant to The Council on Alcohol and Drugs in order to establish regular and successful Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service (RASS) Workshops in five Georgia counties: Hall, Fulton, Pike, Rockdale and Spalding. The funding period of this grant is from Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012.
“This grant (the Georgia RASS program) will allow for the provision of training, technical assistance and a media campaign to educate county stakeholders and alcohol retailers about the purposes and critical need for RASS Workshops,” said Chuck Wade, president and chief executive officer of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs.
The workshops help alcohol licensees become more knowledgeable in preventing the selling and serving of alcohol to underage and intoxicated persons.
Spalding County hosted a RASS Workshop for local retailers over the summer at the University of Georgia-Griffin campus.
The five counties to be served and the main agencies collaborating with the council in those counties are listed below.
1. Drug Free Coalition of Hall County — Continuing Partner;
2. Learn to Grow Inc. (Fulton County) — Continuing Partner;
3. Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families (Rockdale County) — Continuing Partner;
4. Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children — Continuing Partner;
5. Fayette Alliance Coordinating Teamwork, Outreach and Resources (FACTOR) — New Partner;
6. Pike County Community Resource Network — New Partner;
7. East Point Community Action Team (EPCAT) Fulton County — New Partner;
8. SMART Inc. (Fulton County) — New Partner.
The funding will be used to work with Michele Stumpe, president/chief executive officer of Evindi Inc., the designer of and trainer for RASS Workshops, to replicate the success of RASS Workshops in other counties in the state.
Counties where RASS has been in place for a number of years show consistent decreases in alcohol sales to underage patrons, according to the State Council on Alcohol and Drugs. Results from 2011 from the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University and the Burruss Institute for Public Service and Research at Kennesaw State University consistently show RASS Workshops increase alcohol retailers’ knowledge and awareness of policies and issues related to preventing underage alcohol sales and service.
The effectiveness of the workshops is demonstrated through pre- and post-test scores as well as respondents’ evaluations, according to the State Council on Alcohol and Drugs. Alcohol retailers’ scores consistently increase on each measure from the pre-test to the post-test, according to the State Council on Alcohol and Drugs, with typically 98 to 100 percent of business owners and licensees rating the program positively across all measures.