June 27, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly 150 Underage Drinking Arrests at Summer Concerts and Fire Island

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly 150 Underage...

“Operation Prevent” Targets Underage Drinking and the Use of Fake IDs While Keeping New York’s Roadways Safe

Crackdowns in the Finger Lakes, Capital Region, Central New York and Long Island




Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nearly 150 arrests over the past four weeks during the latest round of “Operation Prevent” sweeps, which are designed to deter underage drinking to keep New Yorkers safe. Underage concertgoers who tried to use fake identification to buy alcoholic beverages faced arrest at performances at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien Lake, Genesee County, the Marvin Sands/Constellation Brands Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua, Ontario County, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga County, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Nassau County, and the Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, Onondaga County. Seven arrests were made during a weekend enforcement effort on Fire Island.

"These sweeps help protect young New Yorkers, safeguard our roadways from impaired drivers, and crack down on dangerous behavior," Governor Cuomo said. "Underage drinking and fake IDs are not only illegal, but can lead to reckless decisions that can have life-altering consequences, and we will continue to vigorously enforce the law to prevent avoidable tragedies."

The Governor previously announced that investigators would be out in force this summer as part of the Operation Prevent enforcement initiative at concert venues to prevent underage drinking and the motor vehicle crashes that can result from impaired drivers leaving concerts. The governor also signed legislation enabling ride-sharing services to begin in New York on June 29, in time for the July 4 celebration.

Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, said, "The goal of Operation Prevent is to deter young people from drinking alcohol before they reach the legal age by checking for fake identification and arresting underage concertgoers who try to buy alcoholic beverages. Operation Prevent reduces the risk that underage concertgoers will be driving drunk and increases the likelihood that everyone will get home safely."

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "Operation Prevent and the teamwork with state and local law enforcement is another example of the many ways that together we are ensuring a safe and enjoyable outing at concerts and in the outdoors this summer season. Thank you Governor Cuomo, our partners and the men and women who ensure the safety of our visitors each and every day."

Operation Prevent is a DMV initiative conducted year-round that targets not only concerts, but bars and drinking establishments, events, and other underage hot spots. During an Operation Prevent sweep, state investigators work with a number of different entities to check identification documents. Patrons under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs or false documents with the intent of purchasing alcohol can be arrested and have their license revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year.

Finger Lakes – 119 Arrests

71 arrests at Chance the Rapper concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center: Wednesday, May 31

On May 31, DMV’s Division of Field Investigation worked with the Genesee County Sheriff's Department to identify people using fake IDs during the Chance the Rapper Show at Darien Lake. The detail arrested 39 individuals for using fake IDs to buy alcohol, 27 individuals for unlawfully consuming alcoholic beverages, and charged five individuals with unlawful possession of marijuana. Follow-up investigations on five people who left their fraudulent IDs at the concession area are planned. A total of 41 fraudulent identifications were recovered during the detail. Four people possessed another person’s New York State driver license.  

14 arrests at Jason Aldean concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center: Saturday, June 3

Investigators from DMV and the Genesee County Sheriff's Department arrested seven people charged with trying to buy alcohol with fake IDs and seven others charged with unlawfully consuming alcoholic beverages.  Five fraudulent documents were seized, including fake licenses from West Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Four arrests at Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds concert, Marvin Sands/Constellation Brands Performing Arts Center: Sunday, June 4

DMV investigators worked with the Ontario County Sheriff's Department on this enforcement action. Four people were charged with possessing fake IDs from Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut. One person was found in possession of three fraudulent documents.

30 arrests at the Florida Georgia Line concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center: Friday, June 16

DMV investigators worked with the Genesee County Sheriff's Department. Concertgoers either possessing alcohol while being underage or attempting to purchase alcohol by utilizing fraudulent identification were identified by law enforcement personnel. The detail arrested 30 people with eight charges of possessing fraudulent identification and 24 charges of possessing alcohol while being underage. Seven fraudulent documents were seized including fake licenses from Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.  

Capital Region – Eight Arrests

Eight arrests during and after Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center: Saturday, June 17

DMV investigators and New York State Park Police held an Operation Prevent sweep during the concert, then went and conducted bar checks with Saratoga Springs Police. At SPAC, seven people were charged for attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages while underage with a fraudulent license. One person was charged with fraudulently using another person’s driver license as a result of the bar checks.

Long Island – 19 Arrests

12 arrests during Dierks Bentley concert at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater: Friday, June 23

DMV investigators and New York State Park Police arrested 12 people who were using a fake ID at the Dierks Bentley concert in Wantagh, Nassau County. The fraudulent documents were from New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Four other counterfeit documents were recovered as a result of the operation, but the subjects abandoned the documents.

Seven arrests during sweep at Ocean Beach, Saturday, June 24

DMV investigators and the Ocean Beach Police Department conducted an Operation Prevent check on identifications at nine bars in Ocean Beach on Fire Island, Suffolk County: Sand Bar, Maguires, Cast Away, CJ's, Bocce, Matthews, Island Mermaid, Hideaway and Houser's. Seven people were charged and seven documents confiscated. Five of the documents were fictitious and two were valid licenses but did not belong to the individuals attempting to enter the bar.

Central New York – Three Arrests

Three arrests during the Zac Brown Band concert at the Lakeview Amphitheater: Saturday, June 24

DMV investigators arrested three people during the Zac Brown Band performance at the Lakeview Amphitheater, Syracuse, Onondaga County, for using fake IDs in an attempt to buy alcoholic beverages.  Two fraudulent documents were seized representing Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Operation Prevent investigations are funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to deter underage drinking and keep New York’s roadways safe. DMV also conducts operations at the request of bar owners, law enforcement, and the SLA in larger cities and college towns.

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office