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Cuomo Launches Underage Drinking Enforcement Campaign

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Photo Credit: Sue Guzman

In an effort to help combat underage drinking and prevent the use of fake IDs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state officials will begin cracking down by conducting sweeps at summer concerts and at other underage hotspots.

"Underage drinking and the bad decisions that follow lead to life-altering consequences for young people," Cuomo said. "With this crackdown, we are not only sending the message that this behavior will not be tolerated in New York State, but we are taking steps to help prevent avoidable tragedies."

The summer crackdown is part of Operation Prevent, a state Department of Motor Vehicles initiative conducted all year long that targets not only concerts, but bars and special events. 

During an Operation Prevent sting, state investigators work with the State Liquor Authority and law enforcement agencies to check identification documents. Patrons under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs can be arrested and have their driver's license revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year.

In 2015, Cuomo announced a similar statewide crackdown, which took place at concert venues that included Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Genesee County, and CMAC in Canandaigua. This year, Operation Prevent will expand to additional venues, including Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (Jones Beach State Park) on Long Island.

Inside the SPAC and Jones Beach venues, a bracelet is required to purchase alcohol. Bracelets are obtained by showing legal ID at one of the ID stations set up inside the facility. Investigators will also be using portable document verification machines which allow them to conduct forensic examinations of suspect documents in the field using white light, UV light, and infrared light sources.

State Park Police Chief David Herrick said "New York State Park Police look forward to working with our law enforcement partners to assure that visitors to State Park concert facilities enjoy a safe experience this summer. People who jeopardize public safety with underage drinking, driving while intoxicated and illegal drug use or possession will not be tolerated."

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