SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – New training will be required for bars and restaurants in the City of Savannah

Restaurants and bars in the city of Savannah will now have to undergo safety training. This training comes after the city council passed an update of the previous alcohol beverage ordinance. 

Under the newly updated ordinance, it will require individuals to complete a free online alcohol awareness assessment that includes sexual assault and sex trafficking training. 

Restaurant owner of Ardsley station, Tyler Kopkas says this new change will help ensure the safety of people. 

“It’s a good thing for our city. I think that we have a lot of regulars that come in here. We have tourists, we have people that come from all over the world enjoying weekends in Savannah, and you know to be able to serve them safely and enjoy our city is something I think that would be good for our community,” Kopkas said.

Once training is complete, the city will issue a server training permit card that shows the individual is certified. Kopkas says, as the city continues to grow, it’s important people are aware of the negative side of alcohol.

Kopkas said, “There’s going to be more places opening up that are going to be serving alcohol and you know serving it responsibly is something that is important to me as an owner. There’s a lot of liability involved with serving alcohol responsibly and for us we want to have guests come into the restaurant, enjoy themselves, have that beverage or two, great meal and be able to get back in their car and drive home safely”.

Catherine Longacre, manager at Vic’s on the River says she believes past experiences made city leaders want to take action to improve the way alcohol is served.

“I think it’s been brought in media attention especially with Facebook and all of that, that there are things that have gotten out of control. For insistence, a couple years ago that young lady at Vinnie Van GoGo’s when she was assaulted, and its people that realizing that hey we’ve got to take care of our servers and our patrons”.

The city is still working on an official ordinance. They are hoping to launch this training assessment by June 1st. Additional training will be required every five years once the permit card expires.