What is a Responsible Beverage Sales & Service (RBSS) Ordinance?

The City of Encinitas adopted a Responsible Beverage Sales & Service (RBSS) ordinance on December 9, 2009 (Ordinance No. 2009-13).Encinitas Municipal Code Chapter 9.43  which requires all sellers and servers of alcoholic beverages at retail establishments in Encinitas to complete a four-hour course certified by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). These courses are referred to as LEAD training (Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs) and are offered at no charge through ABC's LEAD training.

The goals of the City are to:

  • Reduce alcohol-related law violations
  • Improve working relationships between businesses and law enforcement
  • Raise awareness of the consequences of improper alcohol sales on the community

Benefits of Training

The course teaches ABC and DUI laws, liability, recognizing signs of intoxication, refusing sales, guest safety, checking identification, and recognizing false identification.  This includes, but is not limited to, teaching employees how to:

Identify and refuse service to inebriated customers,
Spot false ID’s, and
Recognize underage drinkers.

Important Deadline

Sellers and servers have 90 days from the beginning of alcohol sales or service at a new establishment or from the date of hire for existing establishments to obtain their RBSS (LEAD) training certificates. In Encinitas, RBSS certification must be renewed every two years.  After the two-year certificate expires, the employee must be re-certified by attending another training course.

Where is training offered?

The City of Encinitas has partnered with the San Dieguito Alliance to encourage free RBSS/LEAD  trainings in City-owned facilities. LEAD training is currently offered free of charge by the ABC throughout San Diego County.

Compliance Mechanisms

A Code Enforcement Officer will visit the establishment on a routine basis to verify that all servers are in possession of a current and valid RBSS certification. When asked by a Code Enforcement Officer or other City official, a server shall provide a copy of the current and valid certification.

Failure to comply with the current codes may result in the following enforcement actions until compliance is achieved (E.M.C. 9.43.030):

First infraction may result in a verbal and written warning to the server, manager and business owner.
Second and subsequent infractions occurring within a 12-month period may result in the issuance of administrative citations (1st level violation - $100; 2nd level violation - $200; 3rd level violation - $1,000).

Keeping Track of Employees’ Training

The City of Encinitas has provided a Business Compliance Form for use to keep track of employees’ trainings. Make a copy of all certifications and keep them on file.  Lost or misplaced certificates are often not replaced by the trainers and may invalidate the certification and require the employee to be re-certified by attending another class.


Encinitas Responsible Beverage Sales and Service Ordinance
RBSS Frequently Asked Questions
Business Compliance Form