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Liquor License Suspended in Connection to Teen's Death

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Photo: Video by kmtv.com

Liquor License Suspended in Connection to Teen's Death

By Jake Wasikowski. CREATED Jul 24, 2014

Lincoln, NE -- The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission punished the owners of Fire Barn Bar & Grill in Waterloo in connection to a deadly drunk driving crash from December 2012.

The commission voted unanimously to suspend the Fire Barn’s liquor license for 35 days on Thursday afternoon in Lincoln.  The owners of the bar pleaded “No Contest” to one count of Sale to a Minor, and one count of Sale to an Intoxicated Person.

On December 2, 2012, 18-year-old Jacob Dickmeyer and Colby Burke went to the Fire Barn Bar & Grill in Waterloo where they knew 20-year-old Amanda Heiman was working.  Authorities say Heiman didn’t want to serve them, but checked their ID’s knowing they were underage and gave them beer, shots, and mixed drinks.

Surveillance video shows 3 off duty Fremont Police Officers help Dickmeyer into the car.  The teen drove east on Dodge and car was going at least 91mph when the crash happened.  The vehicle flipped 6-12 times, throwing Dickmeyer almost 120 feet from the car.  He was found dead near a fence.

Jacob's mother, Tracy Graber, wanted the commission to revoke fire barn's liquor license.  Instead it recommended 20-40 days suspension and when the commission chose 35; Graber wondered why this case didn't warrant the maximum penalty.

"My son paid the maximum price for his choices, that's the minimum I kind of expected from the liquor control commission to put on the business owner for their choices in it," Graber explained.

The NE Liquor Control Commission says even though the Fire Barn had a previous violation at its Papillion location, their Waterloo record was clean.  Each location has a separate liquor license. Chairman Bob Batt says usually it would be a 10 day suspension, but this case was egregious.

"Had it been the bar owner doing this it would've been a different case but this was a rogue employee who did serve knowingly, absolutely knowingly served this minor,” Batt described.

The Fire Barn says it has taken stricter steps, by double carding at times, checking ID's for anyone under 50, and placing indicators on tables with minors.

Heiman was found guilty by a jury for Serving Alcohol to A Minor Resulting in Death, a felony charged.  She was sentenced to 30 days in jail, and probation.  She has since been released from jail.