Liquor Law Enforcement
In collaboration with the Nebraska department of Transportation-Highway Safety Office, Project Extra Mile coordinated two, free, statewide Law Enforcement Trainings on Liquor Law Enforcement in Omaha (2/25/20) and Kearney (3/12/20).
The training topics included:
- Overview of excessive drinking trends & consequences in Nebraska
- Why liquor enforcement matters
- Intricacies of Fake IDs
- Rights of law enforcement when dealing with liquor licensed establishments
- Types of violations to look for during bar checks
- Why proactive enforcement is important
- Recent liquor law changes
- Prosecuting liquor violations (Administrative & Criminal)
The Trainers & Presentations
Project Extra Mile’s Policy & Research Coordinator, Liene Topko, started the trainings by providing a background on why liquor law enforcement is important for reducing alcohol-related harms in Nebraska. The country’s and Nebraska’s excessive alcohol consumption statistics were shared, the harms associated with this behavior, as well as the importance of enforcement as the foundation in preventing and reducing excessive consumption and its harms.
Sgt. Shane Flynn of the Nebraska State Patrol is in charge of liquor enforcement in Nebraska and serves at the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission. Sgt. Flynn helped officers understand what to look for and simple tools to use when scrutinizing IDs to determine their authenticity. Fake IDs are becoming increasingly common among youth, therefore it was important to provide law enforcement with best practices for identifying them. Keeping fake IDs off the streets will reduce youth access to alcohol as well as the associated harms.
Inv. Paul Smoot of the Nebraska State Patrol shared information on the rights of law enforcement with regard to liquor establishment premise inspections, complaints, and more. He detailed how to conduct premise inspections, what violations to look for, as well as what to do if officers find illegal activities outside the scope of the liquor laws and regulations. Inv. Smoot encouraged participants to be proactive in their work to prevent excessive alcohol consumption and the potential tragedies that may result.
Milissa Johnson-Wiles is the assistant attorney general assigned to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission (LCC). She shared information about how administrative citations are processed at the LCC, the types of questions commissioners ask, and the evidence needed for successful prosecution. Ms. Johnson-Wiles also provided details on the different violations of the Liquor Control Act and the possible penalties to the business.
In Omaha, the day wrapped up with Omaha City Prosecutor Matt Kuhse discussing the criminal side of liquor violations and what judges look for when considering these cases. Mr. Kuhse also discussed Omaha-specific ordinances and how to address violations.
In Kearney, the day wrapped up with Buffalo County Attorney Patrick Lee discussing the criminal side of liquor violations and what judges look for when considering these cases. Mr. Lee also discussed Kearney city code and how to address violations.
During the month of September 2018 in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Transportation-Highway Safety Office, Project Extra Mile coordinated two free statewide Law Enforcement Training on Source Investigations in both Omaha (9/18/18) and Broken Bow (9/19/18).
The training topics included:
- Overview of underage drinking trends in Nebraska
- Overview of source investigations and barriers to implementation
- T.R.A.C.E. case study in Sarpy County
- Legal overview of underage drinking laws
- Building community support for enforcement efforts
Sheriff Jeff Davis is a dedicated public safety officer with over 35 years of service at the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Davis began his career with Sarpy County at age 19 as a dispatcher for the Sarpy County Emergency 911 Operations Center. Over the Course of his career, he worked in the various divisions of the sheriff's office, including Road Patrol, Investigations, Jail and Administration until his swearing in as sheriff in 2005. Since the early days of his tenure as sheriff, Sheriff Davis has been a strong proponent for his department's adoption and utilization of T.R.A.C.E protocol for investigating the source of alcohol for incidents involving underage drinking.