Ordinance Will Require Permit for Anyone Who Sells or Serves Alcohol

After the Lincoln City Council set up a task force and studied the people brought into detox in Lincoln, the City Council determined there's an alcohol problem that needed to be addressed.

Their solution; create a ordinance. Any bartender who serves drinks on "O" Street would be affected, but they're not the only ones.

In order to check this beer or any kind of alcohol, cashiers will soon need a permit.

District Four Council Member Carl Eskridge told 10/11, "Everybody needs to take responsibility. We've allowed grocery stores to sell liquor. We've allowed drug stores to sell liquor. So if you have the responsibility to sell it then you need to make sure the responsibility is there to people who shouldn't be served."

It's called a responsible beverage server permit-- every bartender, cashier, anyone who serves or sells alcohol in Lincoln will need a permit by February 1st, 2013.

Carolyn Buxton is a Front End Service Manager at Russ's Market, she said, "The word server doesn't apply to a cashier, a server is someone who's serving an open container, or a drink that is ready to be consumed."

The city council felt more education and training about alcohol use was necessary after extending the bar time to 2:00 a.m.

Carl Eskridge added, "We think this will help individuals recognize people who have been over-served, make sure underage persons are not served or able to purchase alcohol."

Larry Elias is the Director of Sales and Marketing for B & R Stores. He said, "We don't consider our cashiers servers. We train our cashiers to check identification and make sure they don't sell alcohol to minors or people who are intoxicated."

B and R Stores Russ's Market and Supersaver, Elias said they'll comply and most likely pick up the cost for their employees. But said it's still not fair.

"Our contention is the majority of people who buy alcohol from us, do not buy it for immediate consumption. Will all employers and grocers in the city decide to pay for their employers? It really puts a burden on employers, especially small employers."

Elias said they have about 1000 employees that would be affected. At $15 a permit, that's $15,000.

The other big news in the City Council's ordinance change is that people in Lincoln will now be able to buy and sell alcohol on Sundays between 6 a.m. and noon. The old ordinance only allowed people to buy or sell alcohol after 12:00 p.m.