ARI Training and Alcohol Safety Outreach


ARI Training

Police officers, fire marshals, and employees of Arlington County provide training to restaurant staff on effective practices to improve patron safety and promote compliance with the law. Types of training include:

  • Narcan - Arlington Addiction Recovery Initiative staff provide Narcan training to restaurant staff. All staff that participate in the training receive their own Narcan, as well as the establishment. 
  • Fake identification detection and deterrence – Arlington County Police teach restaurant staff how to identify fake identifications and what types of identifications are acceptable in Virginia.
  • De-escalation techniques for staff – Restaurant and security staff are taught how to de-escalate situations and when to call the police.
  • Public safety expectations and procedures if a crime occurs – Restaurant staff are taught how to preserve evidence and witnesses, in the event a crime occurs in their establishment, so that they can best assist police in preserving evidence and identifying witnesses.
  • Fire safety and occupancy – Restaurant management is provided with information and suggestions on how to maintain egress, patron occupancy and line maintenance to remain in compliance with fire code and occupancy regulations.
  • Hands only CPR Arlington County Fire Department/Hands2Hearts-Virginia Hospital Center – Staff are taught when and how to administer hands-only CPR through Hands2Hearts, a potentially lifesaving skill, through a joint program between the Fire Department and Virginia Hospital Center.
  • Bar Bystander Program – Intervention training to reduce sexual and domestic assault – The Commonwealth’s Attorney Office Victim-Witness Program and Doorways staff provide sexual intervention training to intervene in situations where patrons may need help. The Ask for Angela – sexual violence prevention campaign(PDF, 771KB) is one component of this training. 
  • Compliance with food safety regulations – Staff from Arlington County Public Health review best practices for basic food handling and safety for staff.
  • Assistance meeting zoning ordinances – Restaurant staff are advised of zoning regulations and the County noise ordinance to ensure compliance.
  • Active Shooter (Run. Hide. Fight.) training – Arlington County Police provide instruction on how to react in the event of an active shooter situation and how they can aid the public safety response.

Training is held frequently at locations throughout the County and is open to all restaurants and staff, regardless of accreditation status. Email the Restaurant Liaison to inquire about future training opportunities.


Alcohol Safety Outreach

The Restaurant and Nightlife Liaison works collectively with government and non-profit partners to engage the community through a variety of outreach strategies to promote alcohol safety in the County.

SoberRide® Vehicle

In partnership with Lyft Mid-Atlantic and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) unveiled the SoberRide® Vehicle in July 2018. More about the SoberRide® Vehicle(PDF, 252KB)

Anti-Drunk Driving Outreach Events

The Restaurant and Nightlife Liaison frequently conducts in-person community engagement activities in nightlife areas, often around major holidays, throughout the County to promote conversation and education about responsible alcohol consumption. The department engages with patrons in nightlife areas and encourages them to pledge to take a sober ride home at the end of the night, by using a designated sober driver, taxis, ride sharing services or public transportation. These events are frequently conducted in partnership with other County agencies and non-profit organizations.

ARI Community Partnerships

The Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI) is an adaptation of the international restaurant accreditation program Best Bar None, which was established in the United Kingdom. Best Bar None was designed to increase safety for patrons and staff while increasing the economic viability of nightlife areas. Creating a safe environment can make businesses more profitable, lessens the draw on County resources, and improve community relations. The voluntary accreditation program provides effective practices to increase safety, including responsible alcohol service, public safety expectations, fire code/safety, food safety, and zoning compliance.

Arlington County evaluated effective practices related to restaurants that serve alcohol with the goal of providing increased access and guidance from County and State officials. The Police Department collaborated with the following agencies to establish recommended the practices that are the foundation for ARI standards:

  • Arlington County Police Department
  • Arlington County Fire Marshal’s Office
  • Arlington County Zoning Office
  • Arlington County Department of Human Services – Environmental Health Office
  • Arlington County Department of Human Services – Project Peace
  • Arlington County Office of the Commonwealth Attorney
  • Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control

Partnerships with the Arlington Economic Development Office and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce were also established to promote businesses that participate successfully in the Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI). These organizations will promote restaurants that reduce alcohol related harm and make patron safety a priority. Restaurants achieving accreditation are recognized using social media.