Underage Agents Conduct 851 Compliance Checks at Licensed Locations in 46 Counties
State Liquor Authority Charges 186 Licensees with Selling to a Minor
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the results of joint efforts by state agencies to crack down on underage drinking throughout the state during the month of April. The New York State Liquor Authority and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, along with local law enforcement agencies, conducted statewide sweeps of locations holding liquor licenses, including bars, restaurants, liquor stores and grocery stores, looking for fake IDs and retailers who sell alcohol to minors. Out of 851 businesses visited for compliance checks, 186 were found to be selling to underage agents.
"Underage drinking and fake IDs are not only illegal but can lead to reckless decisions with lifelong consequences," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to take action to hold businesses accountable for illegal sales as well as those who use fake IDs. We have zero tolerance for these offenses in New York."
The SLA conducted 66 underage details in 46 counties, with investigators sending underage decoys into 851 locations holding liquor licenses. The decoys were able to purchase alcohol at 186 businesses listed here. The 665 businesses which refused to sell to underage decoys are listed here.
"The SLA is committed to holding licensed establishments accountable and ensuring alcohol is sold and purchased responsibly," said Vincent G. Bradley, Chairman of the New York State Liquor Authority. "Partnering with the DMV and local law enforcements helps us strengthen our efforts to stop underage drinking and the use of fake identification."
Acting DMV Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "I applaud the SLA, DMV's field investigators, and our law enforcement partners for their crucial work on combatting underage drinking. The use of fake identification and sale of alcohol to minors puts New York's youth at risk and others if they choose to drive after drinking. This recent crackdown and last year's record number of fake identification seizures shows that New York State takes preventing underage drinking seriously."
Licensees charged with underage sales face civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation, with fines starting from $2,500 to $3,000 for a first-time offense. Repeat offenders also face potential suspension or revocation of their licenses. Additionally, employees or licensees who sell to minors can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. Persons 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.