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Major Statewide Underage Drinking Crackdown Underway

The State Liquor Authority and the Department of Motor Vehicles are leading a statewide effort to combat underage drinking. Investigators are visiting more than 500 locations throughout New York State. SLA investigators working with underage buyers are conducting sting operations in bars, restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores and liquor stores. In addition to assisting in the SLA operations, DMV’s Division of Field Investigation is conducting reverse stings in licensed premises seeking to catch underage persons attempting to use false identification to purchase alcohol or enter bars.

With this enforcement activity underway it’s important you and your staff are more attentive than ever to underage drinking prevention. The most important thing you can do is to make sure you get proof of age from anyone whose age is questionable. Merely asking how old a person is won’t protect you since underage agents are permitted to lie about their age. They’re even allowed to present ID, but it must be their real ID so if you check it carefully you won’t be cited for a violation.

Checking identification is made easier by use of electronic scanners that simply and quickly verify identification and let you know if the ID is valid and if the person presenting the document is of legal age. While these devices are extremely helpful they’re not all created equal. Many ID scanners sold merely read the barcode on the identification but don’t verify that the ID is valid. We’ve examined many scanners and have chosen to endorse two that not only read the ID, but validate its authenticity in real time. Intellicheck’s Age ID and Advanced ID Detection’s system both pass our test. You can learn more about these scanners on our website or by contacting our office.

This is also a good time to make sure all of your staff are trained in preventing underage sales. We’re hosting another series of free ABC Law and ATAP (server training) seminars across the state. The first four seminars have already been scheduled:

April 18                                   Hyde Park

May 8                                      Rochester

May 22                                    Hauppauge

May 30                                    Saratoga

Additional sessions will be scheduled for the fall. If you can’t make one of these sessions or can’t wait you can take our online ATAP seminar. You can sign-up for our online ATAP seminar on our website, www.esrta.org.