Booze Crackdown

By: James Steiner
By: James Steiner

Police do this every year.
They say because of what happens *after the Hot August Nights events.
They say alcohol abuse creates the biggest problems when it comes to public safety.
It's about eight o'clock on a Wednesday night...and already officers, from the Downtown Enforcement Team, are seeing their share of alcohol on the streets.
Police aren't just educating people...they're educating bartenders, and liquor store owners as well.
They got a letter from chief, Michael Poehlman, last week...stating *not to sell booze, from eight p-m to six in the morning Friday and Saturday.
Clerks say it's a double standard.
Casinos can sell alcohol *all weekend long...so can bars and restaurants.
People can even have open containers, in designated areas, like Harrah's Plaza.
But, police say the difference is...these places have their own security, and can keep an eye on the liquor.
Tourists say, besides, this is a kids event.
Visitors don't want a repeat of the riots in 1998 or 2002...where officers made forty arrests, during the last two days of Hot August Nights, mostly for public intoxication.
They say that kind of behavior keeps them from coming back.
Reno police don't know what to expect this year.
Many of the run-down casinos and liquor stores have since been torn down...and turned into either condos or retail.
Plus, last year, the train trench project closed several streets...keeping the traffic downtown.
This weekend, drivers have Lake and Evans to maneuver around...if it gets too rowdy.


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