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Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control Receives Four NACo Achievement Awards

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 6, 2018

The Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) has received four National Association of Counties (NACo) achievement awards in the categories of public safety, economic development and information technology.

“These nationally recognized programs are examples of how employees at the DLC are working every day to enhance and improve services for Montgomery County residents,” said Robert Dorfman, director of the DLC.    

The winning DLC programs include:

 “I Take It Personally Campaign” in the category of Public Safety

A 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report tells us that, "Despite progress in reducing impaired driving, young adult drivers 21-34 remain a particularly high-risk group for involvement in impaired-driving-related crashes.”

In response, DLC partnered with the Montgomery County Public Information Office and Montgomery County Police Department to create a campaign targeting young adults and alcohol servers with personal responsibility messaging. The “I Take It Personally” campaign aims to reduce drunk driving, over-consumption and over-service of alcohol. The ads also featured codes for reduced cost safe rides with Lyft and Dryver.

Five ads ran on 40 Ride On buses and 10 bus shelters throughout the summer of 2017. A police poster, created in English and Spanish, discouraged impaired driving. Additionally, bars and restaurants received tools with responsible service messaging. The campaign was kicked off with a press conference and a social media movement using the #ITakeItPersonally, which received positive feedback. Paid for with a grant applied for by the DLC, the “I Take It Personally” campaign promoted a cultural shift towards personal responsibility and worked to increase the safety of all County residents on our shared roadways.

“Pre-Licensing Program” in the category of Economic Development

The DLC has embraced small businesses and attracted alcohol manufacturers and innovative restaurateurs through the implementation of a supportive, Pre-Licensing team.

The Pre-Licensing Team has worked to support, and sometimes create, new state alcohol licenses to allow breweries to thrive, allow restaurants serving spirits to also sell beer and wine to go, create new licenses for hair salons, small preforming arts theaters and art galleries. New and revised licenses continue to bring new opportunities, expanding Montgomery County’s small business economy. Currently, the number of Montgomery County alcohol licenses is the highest in history and second in the state only to the City of Baltimore.

Education accompanies licensing every step of the way, helping business owners build responsible business models that residents want to see in their community. The outcome has been a new wave of alcohol manufacturers and new restaurant concepts opening doors in Montgomery County with a strong sense of community.  

Automated Lottery Program for Allocated Spirits” in the category of Information Technology

In 2016, the DLC’s information technology team developed an automated lottery system in response to the rising popularity of rare and limited quantity bourbons. A landing page was created online where consumers can sign-up for lotteries and details are communicated via automated email messages. In addition, a random number generator assigns the winning lottery numbers.  To date, over 19,000 people have chosen to sign-up for lottery notifications. Recent lotteries have received between 3,000 - 7,000 entries per item. Some of the most popular lotteries have included items from the Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace and Elijah Craig product families. 

“We were able to create a system that is transparent and user-friendly for our customers,” says Diane Wurdeman, acting chief of retail operations for the DLC. “We’re excited about the success our lottery program and for its future.”

“Online Special Event Licenses” in the category of Information Technology

Annually, the DLC issues about 1,000 one-day, alcohol licenses for events including festivals and fundraisers. Additionally, there are nearly 1,100 annual alcohol license holders that apply for numerous special permits and related notifications, as required by state law.

With the understanding that fostering new events and supporting licensed businesses helps sustain a vibrant County, the DLC recognized a need for a more convenient, streamlined application process. The DLC has implemented new technology, Formstack, to allow for a trackable, online application process. This new application allows for convenience, accessibility and a quick turnaround for granting permits.

For more information about the DLC and its programs, click here.

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Release ID: 18-609
Media Contact: Emily DeTitta 240-777-1904