September 14, 2022 Vol. 36


The National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) is a non-profit association

of law enforcement personnel dedicated to the enforcement of liquor laws and regulations.

To renew your NLLEA Agency Membership for 2022-23 go to and log in with your email and password.  Click on my agency, (right below your name) that will take you to your agency page, then click on renew membership, it is a purple button in left corner, then enter your credit card information and hit submit. If you do not remember your password click on Forgot Password and you will be emailed a temporary one.  If you have any problems at all just call Carrie Christofes, Executive Director at 724-762-5939 and she will take your payment over the phone. 

One week left to register-NLLEA Conference! - Click Here to Register

NLLEA Conference September 26-28 Pittsburgh, PA

Registration is $500.00 for members and $650.00 for non-members

NLLEA Conference is a professional law enforcement event, open to NLLEA members, qualified non-members, public health professionals and exhibitors

Check out the conference agenda below listing all workshops, speakers and exhibitors!

Conference Agenda

TX-Statewide TABC back-to-school undercover operations catch 131 retailers selling alcohol to minors

A statewide effort by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to enforce Texas’ underage drinking laws found that 14% of the more than 1,100 retailers visited during the operation sold alcohol to a minor.

The finding was part of a statewide push timed to coincide with the start of the college fall semester. During the operation, minor-aged volunteers under the supervision of undercover TABC agents entered licensed retailers where they attempted to buy alcohol. While similar operations regularly occur across the state, the back-to-school operation targeted retailers in cities where colleges or universities are located during the month of August.

In all, TABC agents conducted a total of 1,131 underage compliance operations across the state, finding a total of 131 violations, or a compliance rate of 86%. The high compliance rate is a testament to retailers’ efforts to keep employees informed of the law’s requirements, according to TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham.

“Our state’s alcohol retailers are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing the illegal sale of alcohol to minors,” Graham said. “While TABC will continue to hold violators accountable, our first goal is to serve as a resource to help educate businesses and ultimately keep them in compliance.”

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This edible QR code tag can detect fake whiskey and medicines

A team of researchers from Purdue University and South Korea’s National Institute of Agricultural Sciences have created an edible QR code tag that can let the customers know if the whiskey they are drinking is what it’s supposed to be — or whether it’s a fake. This unique piece of technology has the potential to solve the fake whiskey problem for good, but it could be applied to other fields as well.

According to a report, about 30% of the expensive vintage whiskey sold in secondary markets and auctions is fake. The Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) performed a random inspection of 55 rare scotch whiskey bottles in 2018, finding that many of these bottles selling for thousands of dollars were actually fake. A whopping, 40% (21 bottles) of the so-called “vintage scotch” turned out to be counterfeit products.

Fake whiskey is a big problem not just because it’s a scam, but also because many such drinks come overdosed with methanol and other harmful chemicals. It can lead to health issues ranging from stomach aches to loss of eyesight. Currently, counterfeit whiskey worth millions of dollars is estimated to be circulating in the global market, endangering people’s health and giving a big financial blow to the whiskey industry by affecting their sales every year.

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NC-Judge denies Blind Tiger’s calls for restraining order against ALE, reinstatement of license

The Blind Tiger asked for a judge to return the venue’s ABC permits and grant a restraining order against Alcohol Law Enforcement after claiming that the agency abused its power.

On Wednesday, that request was denied.

An administrative judge said the Blind Tiger team did not do enough to argue its case for loss of revenue or that ALE overstepped its boundaries.

Within the next 10 days, there will be a preliminary hearing where their case will be heard in full, which could result in the Blind Tiger’s licenses being taken away or returned.

The attorneys for the Blind Tiger and ALE declined to comment until after the trial. 

The news comes after the Blind Tiger’s attorney pushed back against ALE’s description of the moments before and after a contracted guard allegedly shot and killed 19-year-old Pedro Alegria in the parking lot that the venue shares with other businesses on that corridor.

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OR-Portland Is on a Record Pace for Liquor Shoplifting

The stolen bottles have been found resold online or in the parking lots of other nearby liquor stores.

Oregon’s booze thieves are getting bolder. Shoplifting at state liquor stores has skyrocketed and is only getting worse, data from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission shows.

“I’m trying to scream and shout from the rooftops,” says Dan Miner, owner of two Portland liquor stores. “This stuff is on the rise, and no one’s doing anything about it.”

WW obtained a list of crimes reported to the OLCC at state liquor stores. In 2018, there was just under $16,000 in shoplifting reported to the agency. Two years later, that number had tripled.

Saleem Noorani, president of the liquor stores’ trade group, says this number represents just a small fraction of total theft, most of which is never caught. Thieves know that “nine times out of 10, I’ll get away with it,” Noorani says.

He blames state law for not posing more of a deterrent. Petty theft is a misdemeanor. “Legislatively, something needs to be done,” Noorani says, noting that when store owners report a theft, taxpayers foot the bill.

In some cases, the robberies have been brazen. Miner showed WW a video in which a thief brandished a pistol and walked out of his Northeast Portland store with its cash box.

Armed robbers have hit Miner’s stores three times this summer alone. “Someone’s going to get hurt,” he says. He blames a lack of police response during the 2020 riots, when liquor stores reported a series of burglaries totaling more than $100,000 in losses.

As WW has previously reported, armed robberies of cannabis stores have become a regular occurrence in Portland (“Grass at Gunpoint,” WW, July 27). But Miner’s experience notwithstanding, the OLCC has recorded few liquor store robberies. And burglaries are down from their 2020 peak. It’s booze shoplifting, when thieves grab liquor off the shelf during store hours, that’s continued to increase. In fact, this year thefts are on a record pace.

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WV-DUI Simulator set to visit Webster County High School

The DUI Simulator Program will soon be visiting Webster County High School.

The DUI Simulator Program provides students with the opportunity to experience various driving conditions, scenarios and hazards while safely operating a simulation system with enhanced graphics that can even depict wildlife.

Officials said the driver’s seat moves in reaction to the driving course as the program mimics the difficulties drivers will encounter at various blood alcohol content levels.

The program also includes a classroom lecture and collects relevant statistical information to aid in prevention activities.

The West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration Commissioner Fred Wooton says the simulator is in great demand.

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Leveraging Technology to Reduce Drug-Impaired Driving

Roadside Drug Testing Supported by Science

John Flannigan, Commander of Safety Programs (Ret.), Vermont State Police

In recent years, the United States has made progress in reducing highway deaths through safer vehicles, roadway engineering, enhanced medical response, and data-driven enforcement tactics. However, crashes involving drug-impaired drivers continue to rise. According to a recent study by Columbia University, over 40 percent of drivers with past alcohol and cannabis use self-reported driving under the influence.1

The research, unfortunately, doesn’t end there. Another study in 2020 by the National Highway Safety Administration illustrated the prevalence of injury and fatal crashes from hospital and medical examiner data in five metropolitan areas on the east coast of the United States. Data collected both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic exposed a significant increase of impairing substances, including 56 percent of drivers involved in serious injury and fatal crashes who tested positive for at least one drug.2

Since 2019, there has been a 44 percent increase in the number of fatalities involving an impaired driver in Colorado, where timely data were collected and reported in March 2022.3

This growing problem requires new strategies to be implemented to help turn this disturbing trend around and save countless lives. Law enforcement agencies can no longer continue to employ many of the same traditional approaches and expect different outcomes in the future.

Technology exists today to reliably detect drug-impaired drivers, which can help alter this dangerous trend and deter many from getting behind the wheel after consuming impairing substances that can affect their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Oral fluid (saliva) drug testing technology is available now and is currently being used throughout the world, including in Spain, Canada, and Germany, as well as in multiple U.S. states, including Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, among others.

Several available oral fluid testing instruments have demonstrated good efficacy and can screen for several common drugs of abuse. The Michigan State Police completed their second pilot phase using the SoToxa Oral Fluid Mobile Test System made by the healthcare company Abbott, which showed accuracy rates between 87 percent and 96 percent when compared to oral fluid confirmation samples.4 Indiana has also recently rolled out a statewide roadside oral fluid program using the SoToxa system.

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More detailed alcohol warning labels could reduce health harms, researchers suggest

You know drinking alcohol isn't the best thing for your health, but just how bad is it? After all, in the United States, two thirds of adults report some degree of alcohol use.

When we do picture health harms from drinking, we're more likely to think of car crashes than cancer. This is largely because the alcohol industry has suppressed efforts to educate consumers about drinking-related health risks while championing the idea that alcohol can be beneficial to health, say two researchers with ties to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In a New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece, co-authors Anna H. Grummon, PhD, and Marissa G. Hall, PhD, propose updating alcohol container warning labels as a strategy to help consumers make more informed decisions about how much they imbibe.

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If you have Alcohol Law Enforcement news to share please send it to Carrie Christofes, Executive Director

2021-22 NLLEA Board Members:

Todd Merlina, President - PA -

Thomas Kirby, Vice President - VA -

Israel Morrow, Secretary/Treasurer - NC -

Jim Diana, Sergeant at Arms - DE

John Yeomans, President - DE -

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