21 Proof – Cambridge’s Underage Drinking Prevention Program

Click here for the current training sessions: 21 Proof July-Sep 2016

21 Proof is a locally developed, Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training program for employees of bars, restaurants and package stores in the City of Cambridge. 21 Proof continues to meet its goal of reducing underage access to alcohol through commercial sources. Between 1998 and 2002 community surveys showed a 47% decrease in Cambridge Public School students in the 11th and 12th grades reporting the ability to obtain alcohol from commercial sources, including bars and liquor stores.

The City of Cambridge is pleased to announce that it has received a 2007 National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Programs for its 21 Proof Server/Seller training program developed by the Cambridge Prevention Coalition, the Cambridge License Commission and the Cambridge Licensee Advisory Board. The award is given by the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, which recognizes local, innovative and effective programs working with the community to prevent substance abuse.

“This is a real honor – one of the highest in substance abuse prevention,” said Gisela Rots, Director of the Cambridge Prevention Coalition. “The collaboration that took place to design and implement 21 Proof really makes it a unique program.”

21 Proof includes sections on understanding both Cambridge city ordinances and Massachusetts state laws, skill building for refusing service, and statistics on underage drinking and access to alcohol in Cambridge.

“21 Proof is the culmination of many years of work by the Cambridge Prevention Coalition, the Cambridge License Commission, and the Cambridge Licensee Advisory Board, a unique and innovative collaboration which began in 1994,” said Richard Scali, former Chairman of the Cambridge License Commission. “I am proud and honored that this unique program is now recognized nationwide. It is important that Cambridge licensees, and now other cities and towns, can partake in this special training to learn all they can about local and state laws and regulations for responsible service of alcohol. It does show we can all work together.”

This year, four programs received the Exemplary Award nationwide. Award winning programs received $1,500 and showcased their work at the 20th Annual National Prevention Network’s Research Conference on September 16-19, 2007 in Portland, Oregon.

21 Proof was made possible by grants from the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, at the MA Department of Public Health and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.