One year ago, we covered the tragic death of a teenager and with that year now gone, the teen’s father is speaking out. In this Fact Finders report, he tells Mike McKnight that a Nebraska liquor law needs to change.
The holiday season has returned to Terry Dickmeyer’s home a year after the death of his 18-year-old son Jacob but Terry is still focused on a haunting concern. He wants a law change that stops bar and convenience store workers who are under 21 from serving or selling alcohol.
Terry said, “They're going to be under too much pressure to serve alcohol to their friends."
Twenty-year-old waitress Amanda Heiman faces felony trial in February for serving Dickmeyer and a friend the night she loaned them her car. The crash that followed killed Jacob. Police say he was driving drunk.
“Had Jacob not been at the bar that night, he'd probably still be here today," Terry said.
State Senator Bob Krist has a bill that doesn't eliminate but does limit alcohol servers under 21, by requiring an older worker be on duty.
Krist said, “Let’s try to get away from the peer pressure. Let’s get someone in the establishment who is 21 or older to enforce the kinds of rules that are taught and standardize the training for the servers."
A law change is just one of the ways Terry Dickmeyer keeps his son's memory alive and Terry tells us, “He would have absolutely taken responsibility for everything that happened that night."
A 26-year-old man convicted of providing Dickmeyer with alcohol earlier that day served a 23-day jail sentence. Alan Peterson also spent two days behind bars on the anniversary of the crash as part of the judge's order. He's required to write a letter of apology to the Dickmeyer family by next year. He has not yet done so.