Department of Motor Vehicles Investigators Made 78 Arrests Since May
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles along with the State Liquor Authority, State Park Police and local law enforcement are cracking down on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs at venues across the state. Since May, DMV has made 78 arrests during five investigations under its Operation Prevent campaign, an ongoing effort to curtail underage drinking that is once again in full swing as the summer concert season gets underway.
"New York is home to some of the best outdoor theaters and concert venues in the Northeast, and by cracking down on irresponsible behavior, we can ensure that concertgoers of all ages remain safe," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage anyone considering to purchase alcoholic drinks with a fake ID to think twice, as New York's law enforcement agencies continue to crack down on illegal activities across the state."
During the five most recent sweeps, fake identifications from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Illinois, South Carolina, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Ontario, Canada were seized.
The arrests include:
Finger Lakes - 15 arrests
- On May 25, DMV investigators worked with the New York State Police at Somerton's Public House and Dragonfly Tavern in Rochester. Fifteen people were arrested for using fraudulent identification to try to enter the establishment.
Long Island - 18 arrests
- On May 26, DMV investigators and Ocean Beach Police conducted Operation Prevent sweeps at The Sandbar, Bocce Beach Bar, Matthew's, CJ's, and Houser's in Ocean Beach. Eighteen people were arrested and 24 fake IDs were confiscated.
Western New York - 43 arrests
- On May 26, members of DMV's Rochester, Buffalo and Utica field offices worked with the Genesee County Sheriff's Department to conduct an Operation Prevent investigation during the 21 Savage and Post Malone performance at the Darien Lake concert facility. Twenty-four underage concertgoers either possessing alcohol or attempting to purchase alcohol with fraudulent identification were arrested and 24 fake IDs were seized.
- On June 3, another Operation Prevent investigation occurred during the Kendrick Lamar performance at Darien Lake. The detail netted 19 arrests and the seizure of 19 fraudulent identifications.
Central New York - 2 arrests
- On June 5, Syracuse-based DMV staff worked with the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department to conduct an Operation Prevent enforcement campaign at the St. Joseph's Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Geddes during the Dave Matthews Band concert. Two people were charged, one with using a fake ID and the other with using another person's identification.
Operation Prevent investigators will continue to conduct sweeps at venues this summer including the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Jones Beach, Canalside in Buffalo, CMAC in Canandaigua, and the Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, as well as other events where underage concertgoers are likely to gather. DMV's Division of Field Investigations perform the investigations in partnership with the State Liquor Authority, New York State Park Police and local law enforcement agencies.
Investigators use portable document verification machines to conduct forensic examinations of documents using white light, UV light, and infrared light sources. Patrons under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs to buy alcohol can be arrested and risk having their license revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year.
Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, said, "Our investigators are well trained in detecting fake identifications, and having one from another state or country will not trick them. They work diligently to prevent tragedies by stopping young people from drinking before they are of age, potentially putting themselves and others at risk. We hope this serves as a warning and deters underage drinking, so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable summer."
State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, "The SLA considers selling alcohol to a minor one of the most serious violations of the ABC Law, and we are committed to partnering with DMV, the State Police and local law enforcement to help keep alcohol out of the hands of underage youth during this summer concert season."
State Park Police Chief David Page said, "The safety of our visitors is our greatest priority and people who jeopardize public safety with underage drinking, driving while intoxicated and illegal drug use or possession will not be tolerated. During the summer concert series, New York State Park Police look forward to working with our law enforcement partners to assure that visitors to State Park concert facilities have a safe and enjoyable experience."
Operation Prevent is supported by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, which coordinates traffic safety activities in New York and awards federal highway safety grant funds to local, state, and not-for-profit agencies for projects to improve highway safety and reduce deaths and serious injuries due to crashes.