Identification checks to purchase alcohol are about to get more advanced in Laramie this fall now that the city has started its ID scanner voluntary pilot program.

The program was a recommendation from the city’s Ad Hoc Alcohol Committee that convened last fall and wrapped up its work in February. It was one of six recommendations approved by the Laramie City Council in April.

City Clerk Nancy Bartholomew said letters about the voluntary program were sent out to all liquor license holders, and the response has been positive. Thirteen license holders have expressed interest in the program as it gets underway.

“The ones that we’ve spoken with so far have either taken steps to buy an ID scanner themselves already or it’s something that has been thought about before,” Bartholomew said. “So, they were pretty interested and excited about the possibility of not only participating, but also possibly receiving a scanner as part of the program.”

The program is still at the very early stages, but the city has started meeting with the interested license holders to discuss what they would like to get from using the scanners and what data the city would like to see as well.

“We’ll ask them for updates on the number of IDs that they scanned, the number of underaged persons they were able to turn away and the number of false IDs that they were able to confiscate,” Bartholomew said. “It is still kind of a work in progress, so they haven’t fully implemented things yet.”

The hope is to have data available should the Laramie City Council decide to reconvene the Ad Hoc Alcohol committee or want to see the numbers itself. Another one of the six recommendations the City Council approved was to reconvene an Ad Hoc Alcohol Committee in two years to track progress.

License holders were asked to start researching what type of ID scanner would work best for their needs, with options including special smartphone apps, physical scanning machines and even scanners that attach to the cash register for point-of-sale scans.

Bartholomew said the license holders can choose a scanner for less than $1,000, then fill in a request for the city to submit to the Albany County Coalition to Prevent Substance Abuse to try to get the scanner purchased as part of a grant-funded program.

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