Press Release - 12-22-2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
TARGETED UNDERAGE DRINKING AND FAKE ID INVESTIGATION NETS 12 ARRESTS IN ROCHESTER
Operation Prevent Investigation Conducted at Downtown Bars Nabs Underage Patrons Attempting to Use False Documents
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced that 12 individuals were arrested this past weekend in downtown Rochester for allegedly possessing fraudulent identification documents or presenting another person’s driver license. DMV’s Division of Field Investigations (DFI) worked with the New York State Police and owners of Filgers East End and Vinyl Night Club to conduct an Operation Prevent investigation by checking identification of patrons attempting to enter the establishments and arresting those who allegedly tried to use fake IDs or someone else’s ID.
“Preventing underage young adults from using fake IDs is one of the first steps in deterring underage drinking,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “DMV will continue to work with state and local law enforcement year-round, throughout the state, as it has for more than a decade to deter underage drinking and keep our roadways safe. We thank the owners of these establishments for acting as proactive partners and stepping up to prevent underage drinking.”
Operation Prevent focuses on preventing underage drinking and the use of fraudulent or altered documents by minors to gain access to places where alcohol is served. Of the patrons arrested Saturday night: eight were found to be in possession of another person’s New York State driver license; one person held someone’s Illinois license; another held someone’s Ohio license; and two held fraudulent licenses, one from Pennsylvania, one from Maryland. Possession of a fake ID can result in an arrest and the seizure of the fake identity document. Individuals who are arrested face administrative action that can result in a suspension of their license for a minimum of 90 days.
New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico said, "The State Police will continue to work with our partners to prevent underage drinking and prevent the needless injuries and deaths it can cause. I applaud our partners in this effort. Together we are working to discourage, detect and apprehend underage users of alcohol and most importantly, are saving lives."
DMV works closely to prevent underage drinking with state and local law enforcement partners and with the State Liquor Authority (SLA). Most recently, the two agencies conducted a joint investigation that resulted in more than 90 arrests at Bootlegger’s Bar and Grill in Troy, which subsequently lost its liquor license. On December 3, the night of a compliance inspection, investigators found that approximately 175 of the 225 patrons in the bar were under the age of 21.
Operation Prevent investigations are conducted all year long, not only at bars and drinking establishments, but also at concerts, events, and wherever underage patrons are likely to gather. In November, DMV announced that 19 people were arrested during Cortaca Weekend in Cortland, one of the biggest party weekends of the year for Cortland and Ithaca students.
Governor Cuomo and DMV announced several underage-drinking-related measures this summer, raising awareness about the perils of purchasing fake IDs over the internet. Doing so 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’s Operation Prevent is supported by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), which coordinates traffic safety activities in the state and awards Federal highway safety grant funds to local, state and not-for-profit agencies for projects to improve highway safety and reduce deaths and serious injuries due to crashes. The GTSC works with New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies to support increased patrols to keep drunk and impaired drivers off the road, and works to educate younger drivers about safe driving and the dangers of driving while drunk or impaired.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a national leader in providing efficient, innovative, and responsive government services. The agency issues secure identity documents, delivers essential motor vehicle and driver related services, and administers motor vehicle laws enacted to promote safety and protect consumers. For more information, visit dmv.ny.gov, “like” DMV on Facebook, or follow @nysdmv on Twitter.