Tennessee's Responsible Vendor Act
Tennessee Responsible Vendor Act of 2006
57-5-601 Short title.
57-5-602 Legislative intent.
57-5-603 Part definitions.
57-5-604 Authority of commission.
57-5-605 Vendor certification - Rules and regulations - Monitoring and enforcing compliance.
57-5-606 Qualification for responsible vendor status.
57-5-607 Loss of certification for sale to minor.
57-5-608 Suspension or revocation of certification.
57-5-609 Responsible vendor fees - Responsible vendor certification fund.
57-5-601. Short title. - This part shall be known and may be cited as the "Tennessee Responsible Vendor Act of 2006." [Acts 2006, ch. 864, 2.]
57-5-602. Legislative intent. - It is the intent of the legislature through the provisions of this part:
(1) To eliminate the sale of beer for off-the-premises consumption to, and consumption of beer by, underage persons;
(2) To reduce intoxication and to reduce accidents, injuries, and deaths in the state that are related to intoxication;
(3) To encourage vendors to be prudent in their selling practices of beer, and to restrict or reduce the sanctions that may be imposed in administrative proceedings by local beer boards against those vendors who voluntarily comply with responsible practices in accordance with this part; and
(4) To uniformly apply all provisions in this part statewide, including training, certification and the imposition of penalties or other sanctions for violations of this part, and that no variations from the provisions on training, certification or penalties are permissible. [Acts 2006, ch. 864, 3.]
57-5-603. Part definitions. - As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Beer" has the same meaning as defined in - 57-5-101(b);
(2) "Beer board" means any entity issuing beer permits for off-premise consumption, pursuant to part 1 of this chapter;
(3) "Certified clerk" means a clerk who has successfully satisfied the training requirements contained in this part, and who has received certification from a responsible vendor training program;
(4) "Clerk" means any person working in a capacity to sell beer directly to consumers for off-premise consumption;
(5) "Commission" means the alcoholic beverage commission:
(6) "Responsible vendor" means a vendor that has received certification from the commission pursuant to this part;
(7) "Responsible vendor training program" means a training program related to the responsible sale of beer for off-premise consumption that has met all the statutory and regulatory requirements set forth in this part, and in commission rules and regulations; and
(8) "Vendor" means a person, corporation or other entity that has been issued a permit to sell beer for off-premise consumption. [Acts 2006, ch. 864, 4.]
57-5-604. Authority of commission. - The commission shall have the authority to approve all responsible vendor training programs. The commission shall establish requirements and guidelines for responsible vendor training programs and vendor and clerk certifications. The commission shall establish and keep a master list of certified clerks and clerks not eligible for certification. [Acts 2006, ch. 864, 5.]
57-5-605. Vendor certification - Rules and regulations - Monitoring and enforcing compliance. - (a) A vendor who seeks certification as a responsible vendor shall provide to the commission, pursuant to procedures adopted by the commission, evidence of compliance with the requirements of this part. Upon satisfactory proof that the vendor has complied with the requirements, the commission shall certify the vendor as a responsible vendor. Certification as a responsible vendor shall be renewed every year. Responsible vendors may have their own training programs certified, or send their employees to any training program certified by the commission.
(b) The commission shall adopt rules and regulations for monitoring compliance by responsible vendors and for revoking or suspending a responsible vendor's certification for noncompliance with this part.
(c) The commission is authorized to monitor and enforce compliance with this part. The commission may impose fines on responsible vendors whose training programs fail to satisfy or maintain the requirements of this part or commission rules. The commission may further impose fines on vendors who hold themselves out as being a responsible vendor when in fact they do not hold that status. The commission may also impose fines on responsible vendors who willfully fail to comply with the requirements of this part.
(d) Determination of compliance with the responsible vendor program is the sole province of the commission. [Acts 2006, ch. 864, 6.]
57-5-606. Qualification for responsible vendor status. - In order to qualify for responsible vendor status, the vendor shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) (A) Require each and every clerk to successfully complete a responsible vendor training program within sixty-one (61) days of commencing employment, whether the employment is for the first time, after rehiring, or for a different responsible vendor. Responsible vendors shall, prior to employing a clerk, verify with the commission that the clerk is eligible for certification;
(B) Each clerk shall successfully complete the responsible vendor training program and after doing so, receive a certificate of completion from the program trainer in a format that is in accordance with rules promulgated by the commission. A clerk shall not be authorized to sell beer for off-premise consumption, unless the clerk has successfully completed the responsible vendor training program and has received a certificate of completion or is within sixty-one (61) days of the date of hire. The original certificate of completion shall be maintained by the responsible vendor employing the clerk. The responsible vendor shall provide the commission with the names and other identifying information as required by the commission, of certified clerks within twenty-one (21) days of the date of training; and
(C) Each clerk shall be issued a name badge by the responsible vendor employer. The name badge must have the clerk's first and last name clearly visible. Clerks shall wear this name badge at all times during which they are on duty;
(2) Provide instruction for its employees approved by the commission, which shall include the following:
(A) Laws regarding the sale of beer for off-premise consumption;
(B) Methods of recognizing and dealing with underage customers; and
(C) Procedures for refusing to sell beer to underage customers and for dealing with intoxicated customers;
(3) Require all certified clerks to attend at least one (1) annual meeting, at which the responsible vendor shall disseminate updated information prescribed by the commission and the responsible vendor policies and procedures related thereto. In order for the clerk's certification to remain valid, the clerk must attend an annual meeting each year following his original certification; and the responsible vendor must keep records thereof. Responsible vendors shall notify the commission if a certified clerk does not attend an annual meeting as required by this section. The commission may, at any time, require responsible vendors to disseminate to certified clerks information from the commission that is related to changes in state law or commission rules; and
(4) Maintain employment and all responsible vendor training records of all clerks. [Acts 2006, ch. 864, 7.]
57-5-607. Loss of certification for sale to minor. - If a beer board determines that a sale to a minor occurred by an off-premise beer permit holder, then the certification of the clerk making the sale shall be invalid and the clerk may not reapply for a new certificate for a period of one (1) year from the date of the beer board's determination. Beer boards shall report the names of such clerks to the commission within fifteen (15) days of finding that a sale to a minor occurred. The commission shall notify the responsible vendor of their certified clerks who have lost their certification within fifteen (15) days of notification by the beer board. [Acts 2006, ch. 864, 8.]
57-5-608. Suspension or revocation of certification. - (a) A permit under this part may not be suspended or revoked by a beer board based on a clerk's illegal sale of beer to a minor person who is not of lawful drinking age, if the clerk is properly certified and has attended annual meetings since the original certification, or is within sixty-one (61) days of the date of hire at the time of the violation.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the commission shall revoke the certification of a vendor certified as a responsible vendor, if the vendor had knowledge of the violation or should have known about the violation, or participated in or committed the violation. If the commission revokes a vendor's certification under this section, the vendor shall be penalized for the violation by the beer board as if the vendor were not certified as a responsible vendor.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) or any other provision of law, the commission shall revoke the vendor's status as a certified responsible vendor, if the vendor has two (2) violations within a twelve-month period. The revocation shall be for a period of three (3) years. [Acts 2006, ch. 864, 9.]
57-5-609. Responsible vendor fees � Responsible vendor certification fund. - (a) Each entity submitting and receiving approval for a responsible vendor training program shall pay an annual nonrefundable fee of thirty-five dollars ($35.00). In addition, each responsible vendor shall pay an annual fee that is based on the number of certified clerks existing at the time a responsible vendor applies to the commission for certification. The fees shall be as follows:
(1) 0-15 certified clerks - $25.00;
(2) 16-49 certified clerks - $75.00;
(3) 50-100 certified clerks - $150; and
(4) Over 100 certified clerks - $250.
(b) The fees shall be deposited by the commission in a special agency account to be known as the responsible vendor certification fund, referred to in this part as the fund.
(c) Any fund balance remaining unexpended at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried forward into the subsequent fiscal year and shall continue to be preserved for the administration of the vendor certification program.
(d) Interest accruing on investments and deposits of the fund shall be carried forward into the subsequent fiscal year.
(e) Moneys in the fund shall be invested by the state treasurer in accordance with the provisions of � 9-4-603. The fund shall be administered by the commission.
(f) Moneys in the fund shall only be expended and obligated in accordance with appropriations made by the general assembly for the purposes as provided in this part. [Acts 2006, ch. 864, 10.]