With colleges set to begin classes in the coming days, officials announced a new crackdown on underage drinking that is scheduled to launch in the fall.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Liquor Authority and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will be working with local law enforcement agencies to conduct statewide sweeps of locations holding liquor licenses. Bars, restaurants, liquor stores and grocery stores will all be targeted, looking for fake IDs and illegal sales to minors.
"Underage drinking can lead to bad decisions that could have lifelong consequences, or worse, and this administration is committed to taking proactive measures to prevent young New Yorkers from purchasing and abusing alcohol," Cuomo said in a statement. "These statewide enforcement sweeps will continue to be a part of our efforts to deter underage drinking and the avoidable tragedies that too often follow."
The enforcement effort began this week, as the fall semester gets set to kick off. Officials said that the sweeps will build on safety initiatives to deter underage drinking and prevent the purchase and use of false identification documents, and supplement the State Liquor Authority and DMV's regular underage enforcement efforts conducted throughout the year.
State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said that “under Gov. Cuomo, state agencies are combining their resources and working with local law enforcement to crack down on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs. Licensees are reminded to make every effort to ensure they are not selling to minors, including taking the simple and straightforward step of checking the ID of anyone appearing to be underage."
Officials said that people found using fake IDs with the intent of purchasing alcohol could face arrest. The locations that sell them booze may also face $10,000 fines for each violation. Repeat offenders may see their liquor license revoked.
According to research, each year, more than 1,800 college students die from alcohol-related injuries. Nearly 700,000 are assaulted by another student that has been drinking and 97,000 students experience alcohol-related sexual assault each year.
"With the help of new technology, our investigators can detect even the most sophisticated fake IDs,” DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan added. “We are not out to spoil the start of anyone's semester. Our goal is to deter underage students from abusing alcohol and possibly putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.”
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