New York is cracking down on underage drinking, launching a monthlong initiative to curtail minors from purchasing or consuming alcohol.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Liquor Authority and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will be working with local law enforcement agencies to conduct statewide sweeps of locations holding liquor licenses.
Cuomo said that the New York State Liquor Authority will be visiting hundreds of locations and conducting stings at businesses throughout the Empire State.
Officials said that the sweeps will build on safety initiatives to deter underage drinking and prevent the purchase and use of false identification documents, and supplement the State Liquor Authority and DMV's regular underage enforcement efforts conducted throughout the year.
"These statewide enforcement sweeps are proactive measures to deter underage drinking that can lead to life-altering consequences," Cuomo said. "New York is committed to building on our already successful efforts to protect our state's youth, keep our roadways safe, and hold those who enable underage drinking accountable.”
Anyone who is found using fake IDs with the intent of purchasing alcohol could face arrest. The locations that sell them booze may also face $10,000 fines for each violation. Repeat offenders may see their liquor license revoked. Employees or licensees that sell to minors also face arrest and a misdemeanor charge.
Last year, more than 1,000 retailers were hit with fines and other penalties for selling to minors, and 892 people were busted with fake IDs.
“I applaud all those working in collaboration to crack down on underage drinking,” Mark Schroeder, the acting Commissioner of the NYS DMV said. “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. The record number of fake identification seizures last year shows that we and our partners at SLA and in law enforcement take this issue seriously and will continue to do so."
According to research, each year, more than 1,800 college students die from alcohol-related injuries. Nearly 700,000 are assaulted by another student that has been drinking and 97,000 students experience alcohol-related sexual assault each year.
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez noted that "underage drinking can result in multiple health problems for young people, including a greater risk of developing a substance use disorder later in life. These crackdowns are important prevention efforts that will help deter young folks from engaging in risky behaviors and keep them safe.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.