We are urging a new ordinance to add Place of Last Drink to alcohol-related police calls. The question provides evidence and data on over-consumption trends that can be used to inform and then educate licensees regarding mitigating the impact of alcohol related behavior in our community. Please read the article above.
After meeting with the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Addiction in February 2019, the DNA is hopeful they will also push for alcohol over sight and accountability for compliance to existing laws as well as implementing POLD. POLD is an ordinance that enables police officers, while conducting their regular work, to record the person’s last place of drink when arrested for an offense where alcohol is a factor. This information provides data-backed information for the police to allocate resources to those establishments who are identified as having an inadvertently large number of DUI’s or other arrests; as well as information for over sight and licensing. It ultimately provides teeth to an existing over service ordinance.
For improvement in the livability and safety of our community and the downtown neighborhood, the DNA Board supports continuing the interaction and communication with city leaders and staff, commissioners, boards and committees, businesses, and citizens regarding increased enforcement of existing laws, using data driven information tied directly to the establishments to increase accountability in the licensing and license renewal process of liquor establishments.
We continue to learn and have open dialogues with the city with regard to liquor license enforcement of existing laws, and licensee and city license holder accountability in re-licensing. Some additional information on liquor control:
The only accountability required for re-licensing is attendance at an annual meeting. In Fargo for 2018, out of 176 training rosters received, 51% had at least 80% of their staff current on Server Training; conversely, 49% did not meet the threshold of 80% trained.
Although Commissioner Piepkorn requested semi-annual incidence reports, nothing has been publicly said about how they would be used.
Chief Todd previously set up a penalty matrix, for liquor license holders not adhering to the laws, but it was never embraced.
The compliance checks and server training stats are not used in license review; thus the effort put forth collecting the data seems pointless. As well, the department seems to be under-resourced.
Spring 2018 board members voiced our concerns regarding Cowboy Jacks moving into 506 Broadway and our concern over the negative behavior of over consumption already spilling into the neighborhood. Our voices were heard loud and clear by the City Commission.
The police no longer need a “corroborating witness” to charge a bar/license holder with selling to an already intoxicated person (which is illegal). It was the only law on the books that required the police to have an independent, corroborating witness; and it therefore it was only used a couple of times in the last 15 years since (according to Chief Todd). Hopefully this revised ordinance will help combat some of the behavior we have all experienced; however, it all is up to if and how the new ordinance is actually enforced. The first offense is a warning and required training of servers. Following infractions include $1000 - $2000 fines and suspension of the license (bar closure) for 1 - 10 days. (Muni code 25-1512(H)
Of interest, there was no pushback from any of the license holders.
Downtown Community Partnership Open Container License
The DCP test-pilot license to allow individuals to “purchase alcohol from a DCP-approved vendor, be identified wearing a wristband, and move within the boundaries of their events” was approved by the city commission as a test-pilot through December 2018.