You know that it’s a job requirement to check IDs and not serve anyone who’s visibly intoxicated. But what you may not realize is that you also have a legal obligation to train new employees on alcohol sales and service, as well as how to recognize when someone has had too much to drink. Failing to meet these obligations can result in hefty fines for your company—potentially up to $10,000 per employee! Read on for details on the specific training requirements in CO and how prep courses from

What is Seller-Server Training?

Colorado alcohol seller-server training is a short course that teaches employees how to recognize legal intoxication, check IDs, and not sell to minors. Although it’s often called “ID training” or “bartender training,” seller-server training applies to all employees who are involved with the sale of alcohol, including servers, hosts, bussers, and barbacks. In Colorado, seller-server training must include The effects of alcohol consumption, The legal definitions of intoxication, The importance of checking IDs, How to refuse a sale when an individual is underage or intoxicated, The consequences of serving minors and intoxicated individuals, How to identify false IDs, and How to spot when someone is overserved.

Who Must Receive Seller-Server Training?

All employees who serve alcohol must receive seller-server training, regardless of whether they have a hand in the sale of alcohol. This includes wait staff, hosts, and managers. You must train any new hire who will serve alcohol within 60 days of employment. You must also train any existing employees who have not received seller-server training within 60 days of receiving notice from Colorado’s liquor control board (LCB) that they are required to take the course. And if your business gets a liquor license after that date, you must train employees within 60 days of receiving the license. The LCB will likely notify you about the training requirement when you apply for your liquor license.

What is Included in Seller-Server Training?

All seller-server training courses must include the topics listed above. The exact format of the course and length of the training will vary from program to program. Some sellers-server training companies will allow you to choose from a number of online formats, while others will require you to attend an in-person class at their facility. The price of training will also vary, but you can expect to pay between $30 and $50 per employee. You or your employees should be able to retake the course at no cost if they fail or feel they did not pass the exam.

How Often Must Employees Receive Seller-Server Training?

Employers must ensure that employees receive seller-server training every year. You can require employees to take the course at each new hire training, or you can send them a copy of the training certification they received when they took the course within the past year and ask them to sign off that they’re still up-to-date.

Penalties for Failing to Provide Seller-Server Training

If you fail to train your staff on alcohol sales and service, you could face penalties of up to $10,000 per employee. If an employee fails to check IDs, serves a minor, or over-serves a customer because they were not properly trained, you could face penalties up to $2,000 per violation. If the LCB determines that your failure to train employees was deliberate, your fines could increase to $20,000 per violation. If a minor is served alcohol at your business, the state could revoke your liquor license and impose penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.


When you hire new employees, be sure to check their training records to verify that they have completed seller-server training. If they have not, you must send them to take the course within 60 days of hire. Seller-server training is not a substitute for training employees on the rest of their job responsibilities. It’s an important part of the alcohol sales process, but it only scratches the surface of all the skills new hires should have. To avoid fines, make sure all your employees know how to handle difficult situations, respond to customer complaints, and handle their other job responsibilities effectively.