skip navigation
AZ.gov Arizona's Official Website Department of Liquor Licenses and Control
Agency Name AZ.gov Arizona's Official Web Site

Contact The Investigation Division

Jessica Strickland, Investigation Administrator
800 W. Washington, 5th Floor Phoenix, AZ 85007
602-542-9047
Sergeant Wes Kuhl, Special Investigator
800 W. Washington, 5th Floor Phoenix, AZ 85007
602-542-5141

Report Underage Drinking online, or call toll free, 1-877-668-5345

Report A Liquor Law Violation

Email A Question To The Investigations Division:

It is the responsibility of the Investigations Division to ensure that all licensees statewide adhere to A.R.S. Title 4 (Arizona liquor laws) and all Rules established by the DLLC.

The primary functions of the Investigations Division are to:

  1. train other law enforcement agencies statewide on the application of Title 4, with emphasis on the Administrative Law Process;
  2. educate students about legal, physical, and emotional outcomes that have occured when alcohol is consumed by persons under the age of 21 (AKA "underage");
  3. educate community members regarding the legal responsibilities of licensed establishments and train those members to work with law enforcment agencies to ensure liquor establishments do not negatively impact their neighborhoods,
  4. enforce Title 4 criminal laws to ensure compliance with statutes;
  5. conduct routine liquor-licensed establishment inspections to ensure they comply with the criminal and administrative requirements of Title 4, and apply the appropriate action when violations are observed;
  6. investigate complaints regarding liquor-licensed establishments received from community members and local law enforcement personnel;
  7. conduct background investigations on liquor license applicants to determine if Title 4 qualifications to possess a liquor license are met;
  8. review police reports submitted by local law enforcement agencies to determine if Title 4 volations exist and, when action is appropriate, submit reports to DLLC's Compliance Unit;
  9. conduct Covert Underage Buyer (CUB) detail to determine if the licensed establishment is in compliance with Title 4 provisions regarding the sale and service of liquor only to persons over the age of 21;
  10. research and resond to inquiries regarding Title 4 provisions for the branding, sales, and distribution of liquor throughout Arizona; and
  11. develop and implement enforcement plans for large scale, public "special events" where the sale and service of liquor is provided and an attendance of 100,000+ people is anticipated.

Covert Underage Buyer (CUB) Program

The Covert Underage Buyer (CUB) program, overseen by DLLC's Investigations Division, began in May of 2003. In an effort to curb alcohol sales and consumption to underage persons, this program provides the resources necessary for DLLC to investigate reported complaints of liquor licensed businesses suspected of one or more underage liquor law violations. Once DLLC has reasonable suspicion that a liquor location may be selling alcohol to underage customers, the agency will send a CUB to attempt to purchase alcohol. Each CUB is nineteen (19) years or younger and is carefully trained to follow state laws and DLLC guidelines. The program has been instituted statewide once CUB training is provided to local law enforcement agencies. Many agencies work with DLLC investigators during the initiation of the program in their area.

Target Responsibility for Alcohol Connected Emergency (TRACE) Program

The TRACE (Target Responsibility for Alcohol Connected Emergency) program began in December 2004. TRACE is a system of effective and rapid communication between local law enforcement, EMS personnel in high-profile cases involving underage drinking. Each TRACE case is concluded when the source of alcohol is traced back to the supplier and the supplier is charged with a criminal and/or administrative violation. TRACE is now statewide with three full time investigators available for immediate response to alcohol-related emergencies that involve a person under the age of twenty-one.

Party Crews

DLLC investigators gather intelligence on "party crews", defined as a group assembling in an abandoned (currently or temporarily unoccupied) property, or by taking occupied property by force to engage in private social activities. Fliers and/or text messages announce the event location and time shortly before the party begins.

Firearms and underage drinking are frequently found at these parties. DLLC shares party crew intelligence with local police departments and together they terminate parties, make arrests, and gather further intelligence.

For more information about the the divisions and units of DLLC, please view our Organizational Chart.

Included within the Investigation Division is The Compliance Unit.

The Compliance Unit governs the dispute-resolution process. The mandate of the Compliance Officer is to arbitrate cases and attempt a fair resolution and to find alternatives to the more costly and time-consuming formal hearing process when appropriate.

The Audit Unit audits liquor licensed establishments that are hotel/motels with restaurants (series 11) as well as restaurants (series 12), to ensure they maintain the 40:60 food-to liquor sales ratio required by Title 4.