Press Release - 11-17-2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
TARGETED UNDERAGE DRINKING AND FAKE ID INVESTIGATION NETS 19 “OPERATION PREVENT” ARRESTS DURING CORTACA WEEKEND
53 Arrests Made in Cortland Since the Beginning of the Fall Semester
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced that 19 arrests were made on the nights of Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14 in Cortland during the weekend of the Cortland-Ithaca football game, commonly known as Cortaca. At the request of local law enforcement, investigators from DMV’s Division of Field Investigation (DFI) were present at ID checks at a number of local bars, checking for fraudulent identification documents. These ID checks are the latest in DMV’s ongoing, statewide effort to deter underage drinking and keep New York’s roadways safe.
“Cortaca is not only an historic football rivalry, but it is also one of the largest party weekends of the year for Cortland and Ithaca students,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “This was our third trip to the City of Cortland since the fall semester began, resulting in more than 50 arrests for fake IDs. DMV will continue to work with local law enforcement, in Cortland and throughout the State, to deter underage drinking and keep our roadways safe.”
DFI investigators worked with the New York State Police, the City of Cortland Police Department, and the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department to conduct the Operation Prevent sweep. Numerous law enforcement personnel were on hand to conduct walkthroughs at many establishments to identify patrons that may have gained access by utilizing false identification.
As a result of these efforts, 19 arrests were made over the two days for allegedly possessing fraudulent identification documents or presenting another person’s driver license. Five documents allegedly from Connecticut were recovered, as well as three each from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and one each from Maine, Maryland, and Florida. Four were arrested for possession of another’s New York driver license. The nineteenth arrest was of a person who gave false information to an investigator when asked for identification.
Possession of a fake ID will typically result in an arrest and the seizure of the fake identity document. Individuals who are arrested face administrative action that normally results in a suspension of their license for a minimum of 90 days.
Governor Cuomo and DMV recently announced several underage-drinking-related measures this summer. First, the Governor and DMV raised awareness about the perils of purchasing fake IDs over the internet, which is not only illegal, but increases the chance of buyers becoming victims of identity fraud and theft. Governor Cuomo also announced a new partnership 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.
DMV and GTSC are proactive partners in keeping New Yorkers safe. The GTSC, which funds highway and traffic safety initiatives statewide, works with New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies to support increased patrols to keep drunk and impaired drivers off the road. The agency also works to educate younger drivers about safe driving and the dangers of driving while drunk or impaired. GTSC’s most recent initiative, Coaches Care, is aimed at educating teens about safe driving by encouraging coaches, who have a huge influence on the lives of student athletes, to openly discuss highway and traffic safety.
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, seven-day-per-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (467369). Parents and caregivers can also visit the OASAS Talk2Prevent website, Talk2Prevent.NY.GOV, for prevention resources including practical information for parents on how to keep the conversation going about the health risks and other dangers of underage drinking and drug use.