By Brandon Moseley

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) are partnering with the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) to host the association’s 34th annual conference: A New Decade of Alcohol Law Enforcement.

“We are honored to host this year’s National Liquor Law Enforcement Association Conference and welcome law enforcement officers from around the nation to the Capitol City,” ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said. “NLLEA’s annual conference is an excellent opportunity for alcohol law enforcement officers as well as agencies to gather and share new methods to address evolving enforcement challenges and growing responsibilities while providing best practice recommendations and guidance on alcohol policies and procedures.”

NLLEA Board President John Yeomans said, “It is an exciting time for our association as we continue to adapt to policy and legislative changes around the country. The pandemic has created unprecedented shifts and changes in the alcohol marketplace adding additional challenges for alcohol law enforcement, and our organization is committed to bringing our membership the most relevant and up-to-date information available through this conference to ensure that NLLEA members are on the cutting edge.”

Yeomans said he believes more challenges are still ahead due to COVID-19.

The three-day conference will take place on Monday, Nov. 15, through Wednesday, Nov. 17, at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa’s Convention Center located at 201 Tallapoosa Street in Montgomery. 

The Conference agenda promises to be full of industry experts as guest speakers, national award presentations and informative workshops regarding alcohol law enforcement topics such as new, innovative technology, direct shipping, trade practices, human trafficking enforcement, and more.

ALEA’s Honor Guard will kick off the opening ceremonies with a presentation of colors, followed by opening remarks from NLLEA President John Yeomans, ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor and ABC’s Manager of Government Relations and Communications Dean Argo. 

Each year, NLLEA Awards are given in four categories: Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency of the Year, Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent of the Year, Innovative Alcohol Law Enforcement Program of the Year, and the John W. Britt Community Service Award.

This year, Secretary Taylor is pleased to announce that ALEA’s Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialist Senior Sarah Jones will receive the 2021 Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent of the year for her role in the development and implementation in a revolutionary tool to track, monitor and maintain data collected during alcohol and tobacco compliance operations.

“It is an honor to receive such a prestigious award because it is a direct reflection of ALEA’s exceptional leadership that champions innovation,” said Jones. "I am particularly thankful for the SBI leadership providing constant support, clear vision, and a standard of excellence as we work together to efficiently and effectively achieve the mission of ALEA to provide quality service, protection, and safety for the State of Alabama.”

Over the course of the three-day Conference, Jones will join SBI Captain David Hall in a workshop to discuss the details of the mobile GIS tool from start to finish, while also demonstrating how the foundation of ALEA’s system can be quickly modified to meet unforeseen needs such as the ever-changing challenges of enforcement during the era of a global pandemic. 

In addition to this presentation, several other Agency employees will participate in workshops including Special Agent Joey Hamilton with SBI’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Unit and Tim McCullum who is employed as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama, working in ALEA’s Legal Division. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 to 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Excessive drinking was responsible for one in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20 to 64 years.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that between 2011 and 2015, the leading causes of alcohol-attributable deaths due to chronic conditions in the United States were alcohol-associated liver disease, heart disease and stroke, unspecified liver cirrhosis, upper aerodigestive tract cancers, liver cancer, supraventricular cardiac dysrhythmia, AUD, breast cancer, and hypertension.

In 2019, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 10,142 deaths (28.0 percent of overall driving fatalities).

To learn more about NLLEA, please visit: