Specialized terms used in this online course and their meanings:
Absorption: The way alcohol enters the bloodstream. Alcohol is absorbed into the blood through the stomach and small intestine.
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ): That individual who presides over citation hearings where charges of violations of the Liquor Code are heard.
Administrative Liability: Refers to the potential for action taken against a liquor license as a penalty for violation of the Liquor Code. Action may be in the form of a monetary fine, suspension or revocation of the liquor license, other condition(s) or any or all combinations of these. Administrative penalties are levied by the Administrative Law Judge.
Alcohol: 1. A liquid or solid containing more than one-half of one percent (0.5%) of ethyl alcohol by volume capable of being consumed by a human being. 2. A toxic drug; a depressant that slows activity in the central nervous system, resulting in impaired mental and physical performance.
BAC: Blood alcohol content. The amount of alcohol in the blood, determined by the percentage of alcohol in relation to other blood components. For example, .08% BAC means there are eight (8) parts of alcohol per ten thousand (10,000) parts of blood. (Also breath alcohol content. Many law enforcement agencies use breath tests to determine a person’s alcohol content.)
Central Nervous System (CNS): The brain and the spinal cord, which collect, process and transmit information.
Certification: See RAMP Certification.
Criminal Liability: Refers to action that could be taken in the criminal courts, usually by the local district attorney, against a licensee or server, for sales of alcohol to a minor or visibly intoxicated person.
Civil Liability: Refers to legal action that could be taken in the civil courts against licensees and or servers in order to determine liability under dram shop laws. Civil action usually occurs in instances where there has been death, injury or property damage caused by a minor or visibly intoxicated person who was unlawfully served alcoholic beverages.
Declaration of Age Card (931 Card): A free form provided by the PLCB, that is used to document the information on an identification card presented by a patron when that patron is carded or asked to produce proof of age.
Depressant: A chemical that slows down the processes of the central nervous system.
Designated Driver: A person chosen to be the driver for others who are consuming alcohol. A designated driver does not drink alcohol to ensure that everyone in the group gets home safely.
Dram Shop Laws: Dram shop laws establish the liability of establishments arising out of the sale of alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently cause death or injury to third-parties.
Drink Equivalency: There is the same amount of ethyl alcohol in a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine and a 1-1/2-ounce shot of 80-proof liquor.
Drug: A chemical substance that produces a physical, mental, emotional or behavioral change in the user.
DUI: Driving under the influence of intoxicants. In Pennsylvania, the legal standard for DUI is a BAC of .08%. In other words, a person is presumed guilty of DUI if his or her BAC is .08% or greater. DUI includes being under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs. Legally allowable blood alcohol limits are lower for minors and those with a commercial driver’s licenses.
Ethyl alcohol: The alcohol in beverages, also known as ethanol. The only alcohol that can be consumed without causing severe immediate physical damage.
Hospitality Industry: Restaurants, hotels and other businesses that provide food, lodging and other services.
House Policy: Rules that the owners or managers of a business set for their employees and customers that are equal to or stricter than state law.
Identification Cards (Legally Acceptable): See Proper Identification.
Impairment: A decrease in physical and mental abilities.
Incident Documentation (Form PLCB-2027): A daily record of any events occurring in an establishment kept at the licensed premises. The PLCB recommends licensees record as much pertinent information relating to any incidents that may be the basis of future legal action. Form PLCB-2027 is provided free of charge by the PLCB to assist licensees in documenting such incidents.
Intoxication: The condition of physical and mental impairment resulting from consumption of alcohol or other drugs, legal or illegal.
Intoxicant: Anything that produces intoxication, including but not limited to alcohol and other legal drugs, illegal drugs, and household chemicals.
Legal Duty: A duty the law requires a person to perform.
Legal Intoxication: That blood alcohol level (0.08%) which is recognized by law as being evidence of impairment.
License: The document issued by the PLCB for a person or entity to manufacture, distribute, take orders for and sell spirits, wines, beer and other alcoholic liquors.
Licensee: A person or entity granted the privilege of selling alcoholic beverages by the PLCB.
Licensed Premises: Refers to that portion of business that is licensed by the PLCB for the sale and service of alcoholic beverages.
Liver: The organ in the human body that metabolizes alcohol.
Malt Beverage: An alcoholic beverage made by the fermentation of grain with an alcohol content up to 14%. Such products include beer, ale, porter, stout, flavored malt beverages, etc.
Metabolization: The chemical process of breaking down a substance, such as alcohol, in the body.
Minor: In Pennsylvania, any person younger than 21 years of age.
New Employee: A “new employee” is defined as anyone who has not been employed at the licensed establishment in any capacity during the preceding year.
New Employee Orientation (Form PLCB-2228): Often referred to as the third step in RAMP Certification, this component consists of orientation for all new employees. The PLCB will make available the orientation checklist (Form PLCB-2228) and appropriate learning materials. It is recommended that this orientation be completed on or before the new employee’s first day, but must be completed within 30 days of the employee joining the staff. *Note: This form must be completed for all people who serve alcohol or check ID, regardless of whether they are considered employees, officers or volunteers.
Owner/Manager Training: One of the five required components for RAMP Certification. Licensees may choose to participate in classroom training or complete online. To meet this requirement, either the PLCB-approved manager or an owner who owns at least 25% interest in the establishment, must complete this training.
Oxidation: The process by which the body burns alcohol for elimination. The liver oxidizes approximately 90 – 95 percent of alcohol at a rate equal to about one standard drink per hour.
PLCB-approved Manager: The person who is named by the licensee as the manager of the licensed establishment and who has been approved by the PLCB as such.
Premises: An establishment’s building and grounds, including parking lots. Some or all of the premises may be licensed.
Professional Duty: Duties a server chooses to perform because he/she wants to do more than legal duties to protect customers, himself or herself, and society in general.
Proof: The alcohol content of distilled spirits. Equal to two (2) times the percentage of alcohol. For example, 100 proof equals 50 percent alcohol content.
Proper Identification: Refers to the five types of identification that are recognized under section 495(a) of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code [47 P.S. § 4-495(a)] as proof of age for the purposes of serving or selling alcoholic beverages or frequenting a licensed premises. The five types of identification are: 1) a valid photo driver’s license issued by any state; 2) a valid photo identification card issued by any state; 3) a Canadian driver’s license or other bona fide Canadian identification, such as a Canadian-issued passport that contains a photograph; 4) a valid Armed Forces of the United States identification card; and 5) a valid passport, passport card or travel visa issued by the United States or a foreign country that contains the holder’s photograph.
Proper Supervision: A person who is 25 years of age or older who is directly responsible for the care and conduct of the minor(s) while on the licensed premises, and who keeps the minor(s) within his/her sight or hearing at all times. If the licensee, an employee of a licensee or anyone else paid by the licensee is performing as proper supervisor, then that person may not perform any other employment-related duties; otherwise, proper supervision shall consist of unpaid volunteers.
RAMP Certification: A Responsible Alcohol Management Program certification. The umbrella used to describe the collection of training and resources available to licensees and their employees. Completion of the program provides certification for two years. In order to become RAMP-certified, licensees must complete all parts of the program, which include: Owner/Manager Training, Server/Seller Training, New Employee Orientation, Signage and Affidavit Request for RAMP Certification.
Responsible Alcohol Service: The legal and professional responsibility of alcohol servers to consistently take care that customers do not drink to intoxication, to assure that minors are not served or possess alcohol and to assure that visibly intoxicated individuals are not served and do not drive.
Server/Seller Training: The second component required for RAMP Certification. Licensees may choose to participate in classroom training conducted by an instructor who has been approved by the PLCB or complete an online course offered by a PLCB-approved provider. This training is required for at least 50 percent of a licensee’s alcohol service staff (which includes anyone who serves alcohol or checks IDs). This percentage must be maintained at all times.
Signage: Refers to the fourth component required for RAMP Certification, consisting of displaying signs addressing age and identification requirements and the prohibition of selling alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons and minors.
Stimulants: Chemicals that speed up the processes of the central nervous system. Sometimes called “uppers.”
Third Party Liability: A law that allows a victim to sue a server, licensee, or a social host for damages and injuries resulting from the actions of a customer. In Pennsylvania, third party liability applies when the server or licensee violates the law by serving a minor or a visibly intoxicated person. The first party is the licensee/server, the second party is the customer, and third party is the victim.
Tolerance: The condition when a drug user requires increasingly larger amounts of the drug to produce the same effect. A change in the system of the user, developing with prolonged or increased use of a drug, including alcohol.
Toxic: Poisonous; causing death, harm, or impairment.
Tranquilizers: Depressant drugs that slow down the central nervous system, also known as “downers.” Used in combination with alcohol, the depressant effects of both drugs are intensified, sometimes resulting in coma or death.
VIP: Visibly intoxicated person.
Visible Intoxication: This is usually defined as “a level of impairment that any person can observe.”
Wine: An alcoholic beverage made from grapes or other fruits. The alcohol content is more than 0.5% by volume and not more than 24% of alcohol by volume. Wine may not contain alcohol derived from malt, grain, cereal, molasses, or cactus.