Press Release - 12-04-2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 4, 2015
JOINT UNDERAGE DRINKING INVESTIGATION UNCOVERS FLAGRANT VIOLATIONS OF NEW YORK STATE LAWS AT BOOTLEGGER’S BAR AND GRILL IN TROY
More Than 90 Arrested at Bar Doing Business As ‘Barley Legal, Inc.’ as State Liquor Authority Begins Proceedings to Suspend Liquor License
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 investigation into underage drinking at Bootlegger’s Bar and Grill, doing business as “Barley Legal, Inc.,” in Troy.
On Thursday night, Dec. 3, SLA and DMV investigators in cooperation with the Troy Police Department conducted a compliance inspection at the bar, located at 200 Broadway in Troy.
The investigation found that out of approximately 225 patrons inside the bar, 175 were found to be under the age of 21. DMV investigators confiscated 91 counterfeit licenses and arrested 93 individuals for allegedly possessing fraudulent identification documents or presenting another person’s driver license.
SLA investigators documented 50 sales to minors, including 32 direct sales observed by SLA investigators and obtained 18 sworn statements from minors. In addition, two bartenders were arrested by the Troy Police Department for unlawful dealing with a minor. As a result of these findings, SLA has begun proceedings to suspend the establishment’s liquor license.
Thursday night’s enforcement action follows a similar joint action that took place on Thursday, Nov. 12, at The Smokin’ Bull in Albany, where 73 people were arrested and 115 were found to be under the age of 21.
"The SLA is committed to working with our state and local partners in law enforcement to crack down on businesses that blatantly break the law,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley. “Our aggressive, proactive enforcement efforts to root out bars that cater to minors will continue.”
“This week, Governor Cuomo commemorated the 30 year anniversary of raising New York’s drinking age to 21,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “As these results show, our efforts to enforce the law and protect our roadways are just as important today as they were when this law first took effect.”
During Thursday’s investigation at Bootlegger’s, DMV investigators recovered 91 counterfeit IDs, including 33 from Connecticut, 16 from Rhode Island, nine from Pennsylvania, eight from New Jersey, six from Illinois, five from Maine, four from Maryland, two from South Carolina and one each from Vermont, Colorado, Massachusetts, Florida and Puerto Rico; investigators recovered three additional fraudulent licenses discarded around the establishment, for which tickets were not issued. In addition to the 91 recovered documents, five individuals were arrested for possession of someone else’s New York State license.
During such sweeps, DMV examines the identity documents of people seeking to purchase alcohol or enter bars. 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.
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.
In 2014, the State Liquor Authority successfully prosecuted 2,039 sales to minor violations, a 19 percent increase from 2013 and a 97 percent increase from 1,036 prosecutions in 2010. In addition to increased enforcement, the State Liquor Authority works closely with the licensed community to increase compliance, including certifying and promoting Alcohol Training Awareness Program to educate licensees and servers on preventing sales to minors and intoxicated patrons. The number of completed Alcohol Training Awareness Program trainings has more than doubled from 5,407 individuals trained in 2010, to 11,499 in 2014.