Two employees of local liquor establishments had their day in court on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Silver Dollar employee Raymond Dieckmann and Lusk Liquor employee Daniel Huizenga appeared before Magistrate Dennis Meier on charges of selling alcohol to a minor. The charges were the result of a failed compliance check conducted by the Niobrara Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, Dec. 29. According to Cary Gill, the Undersheriff of Niobrara County, the Saturday, Dec. 29, incidents were the first time local business establishments failed a compliance check.
“We’ve done them (compliance checks) before and never had anybody fail,” Gill said during court proceedings. “This was the first time.”
Both Dieckmann and Huizenga pled guilty to the charges. While appearing before the magistrate, Dieckmann took responsibility for the failure, stating that he misread an identification card presented to him during a very busy period of time at the Silver Dollar. Dieckmann explained that he was preoccupied working both the kitchen and the bar’s window at the time of the failure.
“It was purely my fault,” said Dieckmann.
Huizenga offered up a similar explanation, stating that a busy work environment prevented him from being more vigilant. The Lusk Liquor employee assured the magistrate that he would not repeat the same mistake.
“It won’t happen again,” said Huizenga. “It wasn’t intentional. I did make a mistake.”
Both Dieckmann and Huizenga received suspended sentences that included a fine of $750 and not more than six months of jail time. The two were also placed on unsupervised probation on the condition that they demonstrate future compliance.
During an interview with the Herald, Gill stated that the Saturday, Dec. 29, compliance was the first to be conducted by the Niobrara Sheriff’s Office with a highway safety grant. Lusk business establishment, said Gill, can expect more grant-funded compliance checks in the future.
“This is a new deal with the highway safety money,” Gill told the Herald. “The compliance checks are going to probably happen 13 to 14 times a year. We hire two kids. They have to use their own ID cards. They show their ID cards and ask for alcohol. We have to be in view of the establishments and see the transactions going on.”
According to Gill, establishments that pass the compliance checks receive certificates applauding their successful efforts. The employees who refuse to sell to minors receive a $10 gift certificate to Subway.
For the complete article see the 01-16-2013 issue.
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