Routine, comprehensive compliance checks are one of the most effective ways to deter commercial alcohol sales to minors. They involve the use of underage buyers by law enforcement agencies to test retailers' compliance with laws regarding the sale of alcohol to minors.Successful enhanced underage drinking enforcement efforts happen through collaboration of local law enforcement agencies, community coalitions and media outlets.
When a violation occurs, it is treated at the judicial and administrative levels in Nebraska. This means that there are two citations, one for the bartender or clerk, and another for the business. Project Extra Mile has recommenced its data collection and analysis of the cases resulting from alcohol compliance checks in Douglas and Sarpy Counties. Based on the research, we know that individuals/businesses are more likely to comply with laws if they perceive a high certainty of being apprehended and penalized when laws are violated, and if penalties are swiftly applied and severe (Gibbs, 1975; Ross, 1984; Tittle, 1980; Reynolds, 1998).
An individual found selling alcohol to a minor is issued a citation. If found guilty, the maximum fine is $1,000 and/or one year in jail. In lieu of a fine or jail sentence the judge may place the individual on probation and/or diversion.
To view a summary of the most current resulting penalties - click here.
An establishment that is found in violation for selling alcohol to a minor is reported to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission. Licensees are later notified of their hearing date, or they can choose to plead guilty and waive the hearing. The business in violation faces sanctions separate from the criminal case. Penalties for violations can be found in the provided guidelines by clicking here. The provided penalty schedule are general guidelines, the commission has the right to deviate when they feel it is necessary.
A full list of businesses found in violation and their subsequent penalties is available here.