April 6, 2022 Vol. 13


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.

Conference Registration and Hotel Booking are Now Available

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

You must be logged-in to the NLLEA website to access membership registration

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

Click Here to Register for the 2022 NLLEA Conference

National Liquor Law Enforcement Association

2022 Award Nomination Form

The NLLEA Awards recognize leaders and outstanding programs in the field of alcohol law enforcement. Annual awards are given in the following four categories: Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency of the Year, Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent of the Year, Innovative Alcohol Law Enforcement Program of the Year, and the John W. Britt Community Service Award. For more information on each award, visit the awards page at nllea.org. 

The deadline for receiving nominations is April 30, 2022. Please email this document along with any supporting documentation to carrie.christofes@nllea.org. You should receive an email confirmation of your submission within 48 hours. If you do not receive an email receipt confirmation, please call 724-762-5939 to confirm receipt of the nomination.

Sergeant-at-Arms Nominations

The National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) Executive Board is seeking self-nominations for the 2022 Sergeant-at-Arms position for the Board. This is a volunteer position. Elections will be held during the Business Meeting at the 35th Annual NLLEA Conference being held September 26-28 at the Sheraton Hotel Station Square in Pittsburgh, PA.  CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION INFORMATION

NHTSA Impaired Driving Update Spring 2022

  • 2022 Crashed Data Released
  • Report of Utah's .05 Law
  • National Roadway Safety Strategy
  • Safe System Approach
  • Regional Toxicology Liaison Program
  • Impaired Driving Technical Assistance
  • New Database of EMS Legislation from NCSL
  • Campaigns
  • Teen and Young Drivers
  • Judicial Outreach
  • Safety Program Assessment Subject
  • Matter Experts Needed

HARD MTN Dew Details — 5% Alcohol Mountain Dew Released

PepsiCo. and Boston Beer Company officially launched a suite of spiked Mountain Dew Beverages, HARD MTN DEW.

The official release adds Baja Blast to the flavor lineup which, upon the initial announcement last August of the canned beverages, only included Black Cherry, Watermelon, and original Mountain Dew.

The drinks, which are100 calories and 5% ABV, will be available in 24-ounce single serving cans and 12-packs of 12 ounce cans.

HARD MTN DEW is currently only available in Florida, Tennessee, and Iowa, but the brand has plans to expand to other states this year.

“Originally intended to be a mixer for alcoholic spirits when MTN DEW was created more than 80 years ago, the brand is returning to its roots in one of the first alcoholic versions of a major soft drink,” Boston Beer Company wrote in a press release today.

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CA-ABC Launches Underage Drinking Prevention Video Campaign

Today, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) released the “Keep Youth Safe”

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 underage drinking prevention campaign. The campaign emphasizes the dangers of selling or furnishing alcohol to people under the age of 21 because too many of them are dying in alcohol-related crashes.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) have joined ABC to publicize the campaign that includes a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video.

The “Keep Youth Safe” message is being released in the first week of April’s Alcohol Awareness Month when the entire country recognizes problems associated with alcohol misuse, including the dangers of underage drinking.

During the last 15 months, ABC’s TRACE program has opened 112 investigations involving 29 teenagers and young adults who were killed in alcohol-related crashes or incidents. Target Responsibility for Alcohol Connected Emergencies (TRACE) is an enforcement program to hold accountable those individuals who furnish alcohol to minors who are later killed or injured in alcohol-related incidents including car crashes.

“Protecting youth has always been a priority for ABC, and will continue to be a major emphasis,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata, “We hope this message helps in preventing alcohol-related crashes and poisonings throughout the state.”

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'Cocktails To Go' Policy Gets Extended In Virginia Until 2024

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed two bills Monday that will extend the state's "cocktails to go" policy until July 1, 2024. The policy allows customers to take out alcoholic beverages from restaurants and bars, or have them delivered to their homes.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia started allowing restaurants and bars to sell alcoholic beverages for takeout as an economic relief measure. The two bills signed by Youngkin — HB 426 and SB 254 — extend the cocktails to-go policy for another two years.

The bills signed by Youngkin on Monday outline several regulations that are required for both restaurants and deliverers. These include container requirements that are clearly labeled, ounce limitations, storage in a sealed container or the trunk of a car, and compliance with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

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AL-Mobile’s Gun Violence Reduction Plan Sparks Surveillance Concerns

A key initiative toward Mobile, Ala.,’s strategy at reducing gun violence is sparking a debate over how much of “Big Brother” should be watching the city’s streets.

The Mobile City Council, on Tuesday, voted unanimously to support a $525,574 contract with Alabama Power Co. to install cameras that will assist in the detecting gunshots.

The money comes from the city’s portion of the American Rescue Plan Act. The cameras will support a previous $640,000 contract that city leaders backed in early February with Newark, California-based ShotSpotter. That three-year contract is for audio detection technology to pinpoint where gunshots occur.

The decision to add the camera system and integrate it with ShotSpotter’s audio network sparked concerns in recent weeks over the potential of government surveillance abuse.

“It’s a very fine balance, in my opinion, between public safety and privacy,” said City Councilman Ben Reynolds. “Technology like this … I am for it. But I just want to make sure there is adequate protections in place for our citizens’ privacy along with (incorporating) this technology that is supposed to help.”

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Mississippi lawmakers agree to contract outside operators, construct new warehouse for ABC

The Mississippi House and Senate have come to an agreement regarding what to do with the current outdated Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) warehouse in Gluckstadt.

SB 2844 will allow the state to construct a new facility to be operated by a third-party contractor. This update will allow ABC to meet the growing demands of the state on alcohol purchasing.

The legislation creates a fund that the Mississippi Department of Revenue (DOR) will utilize in order for the new warehouse to be built. The fund will be filled by a $1 fee per case in the warehouse. 

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CA-Police arrest second suspect in Sacramento mass shooting that left 6 dead

At least two shooters opened fire early Sunday in Sacramento in the city's second mass shooting in five weeks, killing six people and wounding 12 others as bars closed for the night and crowds emptied onto downtown streets, police said.

Police have arrested a second suspect in connection to a mass shooting in downtown Sacramento, California, this weekend that left six people dead and a chaotic crime scene littered with more than 100 shell casings.

Smiley Martin, 27, who was taken into police custody Tuesday, was found at the scene of the shooting early Sunday with "serious injuries from gunfire" and taken to a local hospital, the Sacramento Police Department said in a news release. Police "quickly identified" him as a "person of interest" and kept him under police supervision at the hospital, the release said.

According to police, Smiley Martin is the brother of Dandrae Martin, another suspect arrested Monday in connection to the shooting, which also left 12 people wounded and was one of more than 120 mass shootings in the United States this year and one of at least 10 shooting incidents over the weekend.

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New Treasury Report on Alcohol Could Help Small Brewers and Distillers

Although many of the recommendations for industry change may take years to come to fruition, there may be more immediate consequences for one of the focus areas: direct shipping of alcohol.

The report suggests one way to help small producers compete is to enable direct-to-consumer shipping. According to the report, the direct-to-consumer (DTC) business model encourages innovation, provides opportunities to serve small niches, and allows small producers to expand their distribution. Yet the Treasury also acknowledged that some restrictions on direct shipping “may have had legitimate consumer protection or public health rationales.”

Wine producers can ship directly to consumers in most of the country: Only Mississippi and Utah prohibit all DTC wine shipments, though Arkansas, Delaware, and Rhode Island require direct wine shipments to be purchased in person at the winery.

Far fewer states permit DTC shipments by breweries, distilleries, or retailers:

  • Breweries can ship into nine states and Washington, D.C.
  • Distilleries can ship into six states and Washington, D.C.
  • Wine retailers can ship into 13 states and Washington, D.C.

DTC legislation is already prominent in several states, including a high-profile bill in California that would open DTC shipping for distilled spirits. Distilleries and breweries are making efforts to expand their reach in multiple states, and wineries are looking to open up the few remaining states to DTC shipments. The findings in the Treasury report could prove to be persuasive to state legislators considering these bills.

An argument commonly proffered against expanding DTC shipping is that direct shipments could increase the consumption of alcohol among underage drinkers. Yet according to the report, the FTC found no evidence that direct shipments of wine cause an increase in underage drinking of wine.

What the Treasury did find is that direct shipping offers “distribution opportunities for small producers” in states where it’s permitted. This may explain why, when the Treasury was soliciting input, “numerous commenters argued in favor of allowing direct shipment as a way for small firms to bring their product to market as an alternative to restrictively regulated or concentrated distribution networks.”

For its part, the FTC has long been a proponent of direct shipping.

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VA-'Fake ID Awards': two Arlington bars recognized for efforts to prevent underage drinking

This week, the Arlington County Police Department handed out its annual 'Fake ID Awards' that recognize bars and restaurants working to curb the use of fake IDs.

Security guards and management at Bar Bao and Don Titos were given the award this year.

In a tweet, Arlington County Police said the businesses received the award "for their excellence in detecting false identifications and preventing underage drinking".

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Beverage Alcohol Retailers Alert State Legislators & Regulators of Liquor Supplier Direct-To-Consumer Push

Public Safety, Competition and Vibrant Alcohol Marketplace Hang in the Balance

As the 2022 legislative season continues in state capitals across the country, America’s beer, wine and spirits retailers are alerting state legislators about a growing push to unnecessarily and fundamentally change state-based beverage alcohol markets that are already meeting consumer needs and the public safety standards of communities.

Campaigns to rapidly implement Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) liquor sales – a liquor supplier shipping alcohol that has not gone through a three-tier system of checks and balances, across state lines via common carrier directly to an end user – are becoming more prevalent.

Retail beverage licensees are speaking up to educate and inform their state legislators of the problems that would come with changing these laws and creating a virtually unregulated alcohol market, ripe for dangerous illegal alcohol and counterfeiting, problems that would be poised to grow should global supplier DTC shipping come to pass.

These campaigns are often accompanied by claims that the COVID-19 crisis has made expanded supplier DTC access a necessity. But data show that alcohol suppliers – and liquor manufacturers in particular – have enjoyed record profits and growth for years. Current liquor licensing and sales regulations have not impeded the significant growth of the liquor industry, which has seen supplier gross revenues soar from $18.2 billion in 2007 to $31.2 billion in 2020 and the number of new craft distilleries in the U.S. grow to more than 2,000. That success has been possible because of the very system threatened by supplier DTC sales.

“For the past few years, traditional beverage licensees have seen an increasing push by some alcohol suppliers to subvert existing alcohol sales and distribution systems in order to move sales away from local small beverage businesses,” said John Bodnovich, Executive Director of American Beverage Licensees (ABL).

“These efforts threaten the existence of thousands of brick-and-mortar beverage retailers and the broader American alcohol ecosystem that brings choice and value to consumers. They also jeopardize revenue to businesses and government, and compliance with state laws designed for the commerce of an age-restricted product.”

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SC lawmakers advance bill to treat ‘alcohol-infused foods’ like beverages

Lawmakers voted Wednesday afternoon to give a second reading to a bill that would require businesses that sell certain alcohol-infused products to have a physical location and a beverage license.

The South Carolina House of Representatives voted 66 to 35 to give H.4998 second reading.

Representative Micah Caskey (R-Lexington), the bill’s main sponsor, said the legislation would make the state’s alcohol laws consistent across product types.

“The Department of Revenue and SLED have taken the position our current alcohol laws only apply to beverages,” said Rep. Caskey. “With these food products, we’re making sure those same rules will apply to them.”

H.4998 would require businesses to have brick-and-mortar locations and a beverage license to sell alcohol-infused products with more than 0.5% of alcohol by volume. This would apply to products like popsicles or ice cream.

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If you have Alcohol Law Enforcement news to share please send it to Carrie Christofes, Executive Director carrie.christofes@nllea.org

2021-22 NLLEA Board Members:

Todd Merlina, President - PA - tmerlina@pa.gov

Thomas Kirby, Vice President - VA - thomas.kirby@virginiaabc.com

Israel Morrow, Secretary/Treasurer - NC - israel.morrow@ncdps.gov

Jim Diana, Sergeant at Arms - DE -james.diana@delaware.gov

John Yeomans, President - DE - john.yeomans@delaware.gov

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