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GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES CRACKDOWN ON UNDERAGE DRINKING DURING SUMMER CONCERT SEASON

Investigators Will Check for Fake IDs, Underage Drinking, and the Sale of Alcohol to Minors

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that state investigators will be on patrol at popular summer concert venues to crack down on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs to purchase alcohol. Beginning this week and throughout the summer, Operation Prevent enforcement sweeps will be conducted at CMAC in Canandaigua, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Jones Beach, and the Lakeview Amphitheater.

“New Yorkers fought hard against COVID-19, and because of their toughness, we can once again enjoy live music at the outstanding venues across this state,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue to overcome the tragedies of the past year, I urge everyone to celebrate responsibly. Through this enforcement effort, investigators are working together to combat a dangerous problem and keep New Yorkers safe.”

Operation Prevent is an ongoing effort to stop and prevent underage drinking, promote healthier choices among young New Yorkers and enhance roadway safety. Operation Prevent is supported by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and led by investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles in cooperation with the State Liquor Authority, State Police, State Parks Police, and local law enforcement.

Mark J.F. Schroeder, DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, said, “We can finally get back to enjoying summer concerts—don’t spoil the fun by using a fake ID.  Our investigators are experts at detecting fakes, and they use state-of-the-art equipment to verify fraudulent IDs. No matter how good you think yours is, they will spot it and you will be charged. Apart from the legal cost of underage drinking, you also put yourself and others at risk. It is just not worth it.”

Those who are under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs to buy alcohol can be ticketed and their licenses can be revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year. In 2019, DMV investigators carried out enforcement sweeps at 127 locations statewide. A record 918 fake IDs were seized and a record of 1,016 citations were issued to people attempting to buy alcohol while underage.

 According to the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports, teens who drink are more likely to:

  • Be involved in car crashes, experience alcohol poisoning, commit or fall victim to murder or suicide.
  • Become victims or perpetrators of physical or sexual assault, compared to peers who do not drink.
  • Have run-ins with the law, face trouble in school or take part in other potentially addictive behaviors such as drug use or gambling.

State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, “Thanks to our remarkable progress in beating back COVID, New Yorkers can once again get out and enjoy summer concerts, but we remind everyone to do so responsibly.  As underage drinking leads to reckless behavior that too often ends with tragic consequences, the SLA remains committed to working with our partners in law enforcement to keep alcohol out of the hands of underage youth.” 

New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen 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.”

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “We want all music fans to fully enjoy the wonderful concert venues at Jones Beach and Saratoga Spa State Park, but illegal alcohol use in our parks will not be tolerated. I’m grateful for the partnership from our state agency partners to help keep young people safe and ensure a positive experience for all concert-goers.”

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, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).