Press Release - 01-26-2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Bill Crowley (SLA)
Joe Morrissey (DMV)
JOINT UNDERAGE DRINKING INVESTIGATION UNCOVERS FLAGRANT VIOLATIONS OF NEW YORK STATE LAWS AT GENESEO BAR
New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) Chairman Vincent A. Bradley and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan today announced the results of a joint enforcement action at “The Statesmen,” a tavern located at 86 Court Street in Geneseo.
On the night of Friday, January 22, 2016, SLA and DMV investigators, in cooperation with the New York State Police, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department and the Village of Geneseo Police Department, conducted a compliance inspection at the premises. SLA investigators documented four sales to minors, while DMV arrested 20 individuals for possession of fake IDs or possession of someone else’s New York State license.
“Cracking down on underage sales is a priority and the SLA will not hesitate in taking action against those who put profits above public safety,” said SLA Vincent Bradley. “We will continue work with the DMV and our partners in law enforcement across the state to hold licensees accountable.”
“It’s simple-if you’re using a fake ID it’s a bad idea. DMV investigators and our partners work to deter underage drinking and the possession of fraudulent IDs around the state all year long. Using a fake ID to gain access to a bar is not worth the risk of getting arrested,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “DMV will continue to conduct ID sweeps with SLA and local law enforcement to prevent underage drinking.”
During such sweeps, DMV’s Division of Field Investigation (DFI) examines the identity documents of people seeking to purchase alcohol or enter bars. During this enforcement action, DFI recovered 16 fraudulent documents, including nine allegedly issued from Connecticut, four from Pennsylvania, two from Rhode Island and one outdated license from New York. In addition, four individuals were arrested for possession of someone else’s New York State license.
Operation Prevent investigations are conducted all year long, not only at bars and drinking establishments, but also at concerts, events, or wherever underage patrons are likely to gather. DMV investigators, working closely with SLA, conducted four joint operations in 2015, two of which resulted in the revocation of the establishments’ liquor licenses. This past summer, DMV announced several underage-drinking-related measures, including raising awareness about the perils of purchasing fake IDs over the internet, which increases the chance of buyers becoming victims of identity fraud and theft. DMV also teamed up with the State Liquor Authority to educate bar owners, security personnel, and service staff of licensed establishments about the security features included within DMV’s new driver licenses, permits, and ID cards issued by the state.
The SLA has dramatically intensified enforcement actions to crack down on sales to minors in addition to providing education to licensees on their responsibilities. In 2015, the SLA prosecuted 1,552 licensees for underage sales, a 50 percent increase from 1,036 prosecutions in 2010. This includes 808 sales to minor violations obtained through the SLA’s own decoy operations, initiated for the first time in the agency’s history in 2011. The SLA also increased the number of trainings to reduce underage sales and help licensees to avoid violations before they occur by certifying and promoting Alcohol Training Awareness Program. The number of trainings completed by licensees and their staff has increased by nearly threefold, from 5,014 in 2010, to 14,549 in 2015.