OLYMPIA – The Enforcement Division of the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) was today recognized by the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) as the Liquor Law Enforcement Agency of the Year. The award is given to an agency that demonstrates agency effectiveness through model programs and practices. NLLEA is a non-profit association of law enforcement personnel dedicated to the enforcement of liquor laws and regulations.
“Your agency has seen a number of major policy changes over the last few years and you have proactively and constructively addressed the challenges these changes created by developing new programs and solutions to alcohol and cannabis enforcement” said NLLEA President Frederick Mahoney. “Creating the Responsible Vendor Program, increasing compliance checks and conducting alcohol and cannabis premise checks are just a few of the initiatives that make your agency the ideal recipient of the NLLEA Liquor Law enforcement Agency of the Year award.”
The Responsible Vendor Program is a free, self-monitoring program designed to help retailers adopt and enforce best retailing practices to promote responsible sales of liquor and preventing illegal use and abuse.
In 2013, the LCB enforcement officers and local authorities conducted nearly 3,000 compliance checks of businesses licensed to sell alcohol. These businesses include restaurants, grocery stores, liquor stores, neighborhood markets, taverns, wine bars and sports/entertainment facilities. Compliance checks are proven tools to reduce the sale of alcohol to minors. Investigative aides assist officers with compliance checks. These individuals are from 18 to 20 years old. They must either present their true identification or none at all if asked by a clerk.
“With the five-fold increase in spirits retailers as well as pioneering the first recreational cannabis licensees, our enforcement team has seen dramatic changes these past three years” said WSLCB Director Rick Garza. “Regardless of these new challenges, our officers carry out their public safety responsibilities daily with professionalism and effectiveness. This award is truly deserved.”
Chief of Enforcement Justin Nordhorn accepted the award on the agency’s behalf.