Responsibility.org recently hosted a webinar in partnership with Safe Night LLC, where the organizations unveiled a jointly-produced, free resource guide to provide hospitality venues, law enforcement, and local city governments with a proven model to improve safety and boost economic viability.
Retired Nightlife Liaison for Arlington County, Va., Dimitrios “Jim” Mastoras and Molly Mastoras, MA, LPC modeled the Safe Night Out program after a successful effort they created in Arlington, Va., called the Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI). Like ARI, Safe Night Out uses the Proactive Alliance relationship-based policing approach, which was developed by Molly Mastoras, a licensed professional counselor. The approach uses adapted evidence-based concepts from counseling psychology to build trust among all stakeholders to improve standards and practices collaboratively for the hospitality industry.
“We created the Safe Night Out program to guide restaurant, bar, and special event owners and staff to build mutually beneficial relationships with the community and put in place effective policies and training that reduce alcohol-related harm. The resource guide we made available today provides users with actual challenges and experiences of bar and restaurant owners, managers, and staff, and is the perfect starting point for anyone who needs a roadmap to deliver a safe experience for both customers and staff,” Mastoras said.
An evaluation of the Arlington Restaurant Initiative, which Safe Night Out is based upon, found during certain hours the program was effective at reducing alcohol-related crimes including assault and battery/disorderly conduct, drunk in public and DUI. As local, state and federal lawmakers and regulators continue easing pandemic-related regulations, Americans once again will be free to frequent their favorite bar or restaurant, and those establishments will be focused on scaling their operations to meet the revitalized demand. Safe Night Out will help those businesses and communities to reopen safely and reduce alcohol-related harm.
“Responsibility.org was excited to support our hometown law enforcement and promote responsibility within our area’s hospitality industry when Officer Mastoras started the Arlington Restaurant Initiative. In just a few years, crime was down significantly, restaurants were working together and recognized by Arlington County as responsible business partners, and — most importantly — customers were safer as a result of this program. We are proud to support Jim and Molly as they work to help create safer communities across the country by providing guidance and proven resources to businesses and municipalities through their Safe Night Out program,” said Brandy Axdahl, Responsibility.org’s senior vice president of responsibility initiatives.
Currently, 87 percent of American adults self-report they are confident they drink responsibly, and since Responsibility.org’s founding in 1991, drunk driving fatalities have declined 36 percent. Recently released preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows an increase in impaired driving deaths nationally in 2020 despite a decrease in vehicles miles traveled, showing that the nation still has work to do in the fight to eliminate impaired driving — and proven programs like this are critical for progress.
Readers can access the newly released Safe Night Resource Guide to Improve Safety and Economic Viability in the Hospitality Industry here, and learn more about Safe Night LLC, here.