File Photo (Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The City of Casper passed new liquor regulations in March 2019.

Those new rules went into effect in August 2019 and early data indicates they may be having the desired effect, according to a memo from Casper Police Chief Keith McPheeters.

The new rules require people serving alcohol at liquor establishments, restaurants or events to complete “TIPS” training (Training for Intervention Procedures). The council also eliminated a demerit system for the oversight of liquor establishments.

One reason the council began to consider changing Casper’s liquor law was due to an increase in alcohol-related crashes. McPheeters says that the city saw a 90% increase in such crashes between January and August 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. There were 40 such crashes over that period in 2019 compared with 21 in 2018.

“Although it is too early to accurately determine the impact of these new ordinances, one set of data may indicate a positive impact which mandatory server training had on the preventable crime of DUI,” McPheeters writes. “Although the tracking of DUI arrests is dependent on many factors, the occurrence and frequency of alcohol-involved crashes is a better indicator of the overall trends surrounding the number and frequency of DUI drivers.”

Between September and December of 2019, Casper saw a 33% drop in the number of alcohol related crashes compared with the same period in 2018, according to McPheeters.

16 such crashes occurred during that period in 2019, compared with 24 in 2018.

“These results may be a strong indicator that the new ordinances were effective at reducing the harm of DUI in our community,” McPheeters wrote.

The city council is set to review an annual liquor license report during their Tuesday, Jan. 28 work session.

McPheeters says that 13 businesses failed compliance checks in 2019 compared with 15 in 2018:

The city council’s work packet also lists the number of alcohol related calls and calls pertaining to other possible crimes at Casper businesses.

If you would like to contact members of the Casper City Council regarding this or any other issue, here is their contact information:

Mayor Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Vice Mayor Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Charlie Powell (Ward II, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Council members can also be reached by mail at: 200 N. David Street, 82601

If you would like to contact members in your specific ward, but don’t know which ward you are in, a map is available at the City of Casper’s website.