Governor Cuomo recently announced the continuation of the state’s targeted enforcement efforts in New York’s college communities. The enforcement activity, which was set to re-start as students return for the fall semester, will conduct sweeps of bars, restaurants, liquor stores and convenience/grocery stores looking for fake IDs and illegal sales to minors. The new round of enforcement follows up the work these agencies did in the spring during which SLA underage decoys visited 647 establishments resulting in 184 licensees charged with selling to minors. DMV investigators confiscated 127 fake IDs and arrested 112 people under 21 attempting to purchase alcohol.
The fact that the SLA is focused on college towns should not lull anyone into a false sense of security. In 2016 the SLA issued 1,077 penalties to licensees for underage sales – most not in college communities. Businesses charged with selling to minors face fines of up to $10,000 per violation and repeat offenders also face potential license suspension or revocation. So while you need to have a heightened attention to underage sales if your business is located in or around a college community, no licensee is safe from the scrutiny of the State Liquor Authority.