Responsible Beverage Sales and Service

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What is the RBSS Ordinance?

The City of San Marcos passed a Responsible Beverage Sales and Service (RBSS) ordinance, which went into effect on May 27, 2009. All sellers and servers of alcohol are required to be trained by a Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) certified program, such as LEAD training (see below).  New employees must be trained within 90 days of employment. Read the RBSS Ordinance.

Why is an RBSS Ordinance Needed?

The RBSS ordinance requires all restaurants and retail outlet employees that sell or serve alcohol to attend ABC training every two years.

The training will help purveyors of alcohol learn how to spot fake identification and teach them how and when to refuse sales or service of alcohol to intoxicated individuals.

The overall goal of the RBSS ordinance is to keep San Marcos a safe community for its residents, students and visitors.

About the Training

The LEAD (Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs) training session for licensees and their employees will cover topics such as age, identification procedures, alcohol laws and regulations, and intervention with an intoxicated person.

Each attendee will receive a certification card from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The City is offering free training opportunities to accommodate businesses affected by the ordinance. 

Training Schedule

  • February 19, 2020 from 11 am to 3 pm
  • March 30, 2020 from 10 am to 2 pm
  • April 22, 2020 from 10 am to 2 pm
  • May 11, 2020 from 10 am to 2 pm


In order to receive a LEAD Certificate of Completion, you must attend a LEAD (Licensee Education on Alcohol & Drugs) class. To register for a LEAD class, please register online with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control or click here. Class size limit is 90.

Additional classes in the region can be found through the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.  The Department of Alcohol Beverage Control also offers an on-line LEAD class

You must pass an exam. After you have successfully completed the training class and pass the exam, you will receive an email containing the certificate. The email is usually sent four days following the class.

Training Location

San Marcos City Hall, Council Chambers
1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069

Class Requirements

  1. Must be on time (Late arrivals will not be admitted)
  2. Must be present the duration of entire training (4 hours)
  3. No cell phone use during class 
  4. Bring your certification number or a copy of the confirmation email 
  5. Bring a pen or pencil and notebook 
  6. Must pass written exam to receive a Certificate of completion (written exam is offered in English) 
  7. Bring your interpreter if needed

Important Resources

Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
San Marcos District Office
334 Via Vera Cruz, Suite 204
San Marcos, CA 92078
(760) 471-4237

City of San Marcos Business License
Finance Department
1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 744-1050, ext. 3101

Student and Neighborhood Relations Commission
1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 744-1050, ext. 3129 

1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 744-1050

 Ronie Martinez
(760) 744-1050, ext. 3111

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