July 13, 2022 Vol. 27


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.

Click Here to Renew 2022-23 NLLEA Membership

To renew your NLLEA Agency Membership for 2022-23 go to www.nllea.org 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 have any problems at all just call Carrie Christofes, Executive Director at 724-762-5939 and she will take your payment over the phone. 

Reserve your Seat! Click Here to Register for the 2022 NLLEA Conference September 26-28 Pittsburgh, PA

Conference Registration and Hotel Booking are Now Available

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

Hotel Accomodations for NLLEA Guests is $149.00/night

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

Draft Conference Agenda

Penn State biologist receives NIH grant to help unlock biology of binge drinking

Nikki Crowley, assistant professor of biology and of biomedical engineering at Penn State, has been awarded a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health, to study the neurobiology of binge alcohol drinking. 

“People are often astonished to learn that alcohol kills more people than any other drug, far outpacing the deaths of other drugs that are more commonly in the news,” said Crowley. “It can also have tremendous negative emotional, physical and financial costs — not only to those who misuse alcohol — but also to their families, friends and communities. Rapidly consuming excessive amounts of alcohol — often referred to as binge drinking — is particularly dangerous and impacts many different regions and cell types in the brain. However, there are few viable treatments, in part because we have a poor understanding of how repetitive consumption of alcohol alters the biology of the brain.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that excessive drinking kills more than 140,000 Americans a year, and the economic costs — including from loss of workplace productivity, health care expenses and criminal expenses — total more than $240 billion a year in the U.S. Despite the many costs of binge drinking, Crowley said scientists know surprisingly little about its biological mechanisms or how to treat this dangerous form of drinking once it begins.

“This project will allow us to dive into how binge drinking changes the wiring and firing of key neuronal circuits, and how unique signaling molecules called neuropeptides communicate within those circuits — with the hopes of uncovering novel therapeutic targets,” said Crowley.

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ALE Investigation Shuts Down Illegal Drug, Alcohol Locations

Last week, ALE concluded a long-term illegal drug and alcohol investigation with searches, arrests, and seizures after years of violence and complaints had plagued a Fayetteville neighborhood.

A long history of 9-1-1 calls to the Fayetteville Police Department, and complaints of illegal drug and alcohol activity originating from two residences prompted the investigation. Two adjacent houses, 527 and 533 Orange Street, were frequented by known, violent offenders believed responsible for numerous shootings and stabbings over the past few months.

On Thursday, July 7, ALE, assisted by the Fayetteville Police Department, executed two simultaneous search warrants at the residences. The operation led to the seizure of crack cocaine, marijuana, non-taxpaid spirituous liquor, beer, wine, drug paraphernalia and cash.

The City of Fayetteville Code Enforcement was present during the search of the houses and found numerous health and safety concerns, as well as city ordinance violations. 

The operator of the residences, Terry Eugene Cook, 60, of Fayetteville, was charged with possession with the intent to sell/deliver cocaine, possession of alcoholic beverages for sale without ABC permits, possession of non-taxpaid spirituous liquor, possession of drug paraphernalia. Antonio Wilson, 28, of Fayetteville, was charged with simple possession of marijuana.

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TX-The Fifth Circuit Allows Larger Craft Brewers to Sell Beers To-Go

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of a craft beer producer over the Texas Alcohol Control Board (TABC) in a case that asked which brewers can sell beer to customers for off-premises consumption. The plaintiff, CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective, challenged TABC’s interpretation of a 2019 amendment to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, which led TABC to order CANarchy to cease and desist selling beers-to-go to consumers. In an opinion foaming over with beer puns, Circuit Judge Cory T. Wilson ruled against TABC and affirmed the lower court’s holding that the statute in question did not restrict CANarchy’s ability to sell beers for off-premises consumption.

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Gopuff Cuts 10% of Workforce, Closes 76 Warehouses

Ultra-fast delivery startup Gopuff is laying off 10% of its workforce worldwide and closing 76 warehouses, according to Bloomberg.

The move will affect more than 1,500 workers and marks the second time in four months that Gopuff has laid off staff, the report said. In March, the company cut about 3% of its staff and held off on plans to go public. The shuttered warehouses represent about 12% of the company’s network.

The delivery startup acquired alcohol beverage retailer BevMo in late 2020. The company was then valued at nearly $9 billion as of March 2021 after it received $1.15 billion in funding. The company continued to grow last year, reaching a valuation of $15 billion last July, the report said. By then, Gopuff generated just under $2 billion in revenue in 2021 with order volume jumping 70% compared with 2020, said Bloomberg.

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LA-Eight store clerks in Washington Parish issued summons to appear in court for underage drinking sting

During the past few weeks the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office cracked down on underage drinking. Law enforcement conducted an operation throughout the parish to see what businesses might be selling alcohol to juveniles. In May and July, a juvenile worked with deputies to visit 34 businesses that sell alcohol.

Out of the 34 businesses, 8 businesses sold alcohol to the juvenile, while 24 did not. In May, police reported that fifteen businesses were visited and four of them sold alcohol to the juvenile who was working with deputies. 

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The Man Behind MXXN: An Interview with CEO and Founder Darnell Smith

Hangovers are one of the aftereffects often experienced with spirits. Who doesn’t love a good martini or a refreshing margarita? One company is on a mission bring the flavor profile and buzz of spirited drinks without the negative consequences.

MXXN is a California-based cannabis infused beverage manufacturer specializing in 1:1 non-alcoholic replacements for everyone’s favorite spirits, enhanced with a touch of cannabis. By combining new technology in cannabis oil nano emulsions and alt-alcohol, MXXN is able to create flavor matching spirits sold by the 750 mL bottle. MXXN recently launched with three product SKUs including London Dry (gin), Jalisco Agave (tequila) and Kentucky Oak (bourbon) with a rum replacement due to launch soon.

We caught up with Darnell Smith, founder & CEO of MXXN, to ask about the technology going into infused non-alcoholic spirits, regulatory challenges and more. Prior to MXXN, Darnell was a spirits industry veteran, having worked with companies including Diageo, Pernod-Ricard and Bacardi.

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Fake IDs ‘will not be tolerated’ at summer concerts as N.Y. cracks down on underage drinking

New York State authorities are collaborating in a new effort, “Operation Prevent,” to mitigate underage drinking and drunk driving during the summer concert season.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Friday that investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), State Liquor Authority, State Police, State Parks Police and local enforcement will be performing enforcement sweeps at venues across the state.

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Tavern tragedy reinforces need to give priority to tackling underage drinking in South Africa

On 26 June 2022, 21 young people died at the Enyobeni tavern in East London, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. The incident refocused public attention on the safety of young people in the country.

The direct cause of the 21 deaths has not yet been determined. But questions are being asked about why children under the age of 18 were consuming alcohol in the tavern.

Questions about teenage alcohol consumption are particularly pertinent given how frequent alcohol use is among young people in South Africa and the considerable harm caused by underage drinking. One third of the South African population is under the age of 18.

A 2011 national survey of learners in grades 8 to 11 found that 37% of males and 28% of females reported drinking in the past 30 days. An alarming 30% of male and 20% of female learners reported binge drinking during the same period. A more recent survey in the Western Cape found that 5.6% of first-year university students reported an alcohol use disorder in the past 12 months.

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Deaths involving alcohol increased during the COVID-19 pandemic

Recently researchers at NIAAA used the national death certificate database to assess changes in alcohol-related deaths during the first year of the pandemic. The results, published in JAMA, show that after increasing around 2.2% per year over the previous two decades, deaths involving alcohol jumped 25.5% between 2019 to 2020, totaling 99,107 deaths.1

The study showed that alcohol-associated liver disease deaths increased 22.4% (from 24,110 to 29,509) with the largest change occurring among people ages 25 to 44. The number of deaths involving a combination of alcohol and opioids increased by 40.8% (from 8,503 to 11,969), with deaths involving alcohol and synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl) increasing by 59.2% (from 6,302 to 10,032).1

Reasons for the unprecedented increase in alcohol-related deaths during the first year of the pandemic are still being explored. In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, sales of alcohol increased by 2.9%, the largest annual increase in over 50 years.2 For those who were drinking more during the pandemic, research suggests that stress, anxiety, and previous alcohol misuse are contributing factors.3,4,5,6

The increase in alcohol-related deaths appears to reflect a widespread increase in alcohol consumption and related harms. For example, research suggests that increased alcohol consumption during the pandemic has been associated with negative health outcomes such as increases in transplants for alcohol-associated liver disease,7 emergency department visits for alcohol withdrawal,8 and the percentage of emergency department visits that involved acute alcohol consumption.9 Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a 14% increase in alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2020 after decades of general decline.10

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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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