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Taskforce provides recommendations to ABC officers

In a post this past summer, we wrote about a University of Virginia student who, after being charged with public intoxication or swearing and obstruction of justice with force, had the charges dismissed. The 20-year-old was arrested by officers from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control. The fact that the arrest was captured in photos and video likely contributed to the dismissal of the charges

An investigation was launched into the training of the liquor agency’s officers based at least in part on the fact that the man, who is black, was pinned to the ground and bloodied in the course of the arrest. In this post we have an update on the status of that investigation. The investigation was conducted by a 20-member task force appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

The focus of the investigation was whether enforcement of underage drinking laws should be left to local or state police instead of ABC officers. The taskforce recommended several things to the agency, including that it:

  • Improve training to include cultural diversity, “response to active resistance” and effective interaction with youth
  • Emphasize regulator activities
  • Equip officers with body cameras
  • Work to improve collaboration with universities and colleges in the state

Despite the recommendations, the taskforce nonetheless determined that Virginia ABC should continue to arrest underage drinkers when appropriate.

As is that case when someone of legal drinking age is arrested, it is important that younger people seek assistance with their defense as well. The failure to take this course of action could seriously impact the remainder of their life.

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