We conducted a qualitative analysis of 23 state Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) laws to determine how effective the laws are in mandating or encouraging high-quality RBS programs. As of January, 2001, 12 states at least partially mandate RBS training for alcohol establishments and 11 states offer incentives to encourage participation in RBS training. We collected information regarding state RBS laws from two sources: (1) RBS statutes and associated regulatory provisions, and (2) telephone surveys of Alcoholic Beverage Control agency staff. We identified and evaluated five components of RBS laws: program requirements, administrative requirements, enforcement provisions, penalties for lack of compliance with law, and benefits for participation in training programs. Comprehensiveness of RBS laws varied by state; however, RBS legislation was weak across all states overall. While some states were strong in one or two of the RBS components, almost all states were weak in at least one component.