Bartender’s arrest brings talk of alcohol awareness training

“Typically we're looking for visible signs of intoxication, so bloodshot or glossy eyes, or if someone is stumbling or staggering, slurred speech, mood changes are big,” said Cliff Rawley, who’s an instructor and bartender at Midwest Bartenders Schools in Indianapolis. (WISH Photo)

GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — A pretrial conference is scheduled in September for a Greenfield bartender accused of over serving two customers who later died in a crash.

It happened this past April at 100 block of West 300 North in Hancock County.

Indiana State Excise Police said the agency conducted at least 10 source investigations since 2016, a few of those cases resulted in someone being arrested.

Investigators spent three months looking into the Greenfield case and arrested 22-year-old Anthony Helsley.

Investigators said he has never completed an alcohol-server training program, which is required by the state.

Helsley is charged with two misdemeanors of sale of alcoholic beverage to an intoxicated person. According to court documents, investigators learned Helsley had been serving alcohol at Ro’s Bar and Grill in Greenfield for almost a year with no proper training or certifications.

“I see it all across the country,” said Richard Devlin, who is the president of Midwest Bartenders School in Indianapolis. “Unfortunately bartenders need to be trained in a professional manner.”

The school has been around for more than two decades and has trained thousands of bartenders.

“We also train them in alcohol awareness, which is very important to us. We trained it before it was a required law in the state of Indiana,” Delvin said.

The alcohol awareness training goes over the basics, from checking for identification to knowing when and how to cut customers off when they’ve had too much to drink.

“Typically we’re looking for visible signs of intoxication, so bloodshot or glossy eyes, or if someone is stumbling or staggering, slurred speech, mood changes are big,” said Cliff Rawley, who’s an instructor and bartender.

Rawley teaches the two-hour training program at the school.

“We usually say, ‘I’m sorry, but it’s against the law for me to serve you anymore alcohol.’ Usually we don’t have an issue with it, but everything is a different case-by-case basis,” said Rawley.

Rawley said the training can be a matter of life or death in the real world.

“A two-hour class of formal training probably would have gone a long way. Ten years from now he wouldn’t remember the two hours. Ten years from now he’ll remember this incident,” Rawley said.

24-Hour News 8 reached out to the owner of the bar in Greenfield for a comment but did not hear back.

The business was cited for preliminary charges of selling to intoxicated people, not having an employee permit or required records as well as violating server training requirements.

24-Hour News 8 learned those charges are pending and still need to be reviewed by the prosecutor with the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.

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