This week, Albany County commissioners voted to transfer $60,000 from a state grant to the Laramie Police Department for the police department to increase the number of compliance checks on the city’s liquor license holders and to offer ID scanners to those same license holders.
Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent said the new project funding is “pretty exciting.”
Under a memorandum-of-understanding the commissioners agreed to on Tuesday, LPD will spend $45,000 on ID scanners for holders of liquor licenses.
LPD police chief Dale Stalder said that those scanners could either be physical scanners or a phone application that could be used by bar or restaurant staff.
However, Stalder said LPD will only support the scanner program for one year.
“It’s going to be clear that this is a pilot program for one year, and then after the first year the license holders would be responsible for either updating the software in the scanner or updating the app,” he said.
Both Trent and Commissioner Pete Gosar said they’ll like to ensure that, if physical scanners are given to license holders, they should be returned to LPD if the license holders don’t use them.
The funding will also increase the number of compliance checks LPD to 3-4 each year.
During the discussions of Laramie City Council’s ad hoc alcohol committee meeting last fall and this spring, increased compliance checks and ID scanners were identified as priorities.
Currently, LPD conducts compliance checks twice a year on all 61 alcohol licensees in the city.
When a compliance check is failed, both the server and the person serving alcohol are cited.
Historically, the operation is grant funded with money through the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police.
When a business is checked, a college-aged volunteer attempts to order a drink using their actual ID showing they’re not of legal age.
If the volunteer receives a drink, the business is cited.
Failure of compliance checks can lead to fines for businesses, and even suspension of liquor licenses if other alcohol violations occur during the year.