State Liquor Authority tested license holders in April

ALBANY — Last week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the results of joint efforts by state agencies to crack down on underage drinking throughout the state during the month of April.

The New York State Liquor Authority and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, along with local law enforcement agencies, conducted statewide sweeps of locations holding liquor licenses, including bars, restaurants, liquor stores and grocery stores, looking for fake IDs and retailers who sell alcohol to minors. Out of 851 businesses visited for compliance checks, 186 were found to be selling to underage agents.

In Steuben County, SLA underage agents were able to purchase alcohol at: Mikey's Gas Mart, located at 1 Wayland St., North Cohocton; The Olde County Store and More, located at 2 University Ave., North Cohocton; Tom's Liquor Store, at 116 Loder St., Hornell; and Stop & Shop, at118 Loder St., Hornell.

In Allegany County, SLA underage agents were able to purchase alcohol at Shorts Grocery & Store, located at 2351 Stannards Road, Wellsville.

In Livingston County, SLA underage agents were able to purchase alcohol at CB's Bar and Grill in Dansville.

A total of 17 stores in Steuben County refused to sell alcohol to minors when solicited by SLA agents, they include: Careys Grocery and Ninety Nine Bottles of Wine in Cohocton; Wayland Liquor Store, CVS Pharmacy, 7-Eleven and NOCO Express in Wayland; Southside Tavern, Railhead Brewing Company, Save-A-Lot, Maple City Discount Liquor & Wines, Kwik Fill, Michael John's Corner Store, Walgreens and 7-Eleven in Hornell; and Uni Mart of Canisteo.

Passing their inspection in Allegany County were Park Plaza Liquors and Crosby's, both of Wellsville, who refused sale to minors.

"Underage drinking and fake IDs are not only illegal but can lead to reckless decisions with lifelong consequences," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to take action to hold businesses accountable for illegal sales as well as those who use fake IDs. We have zero tolerance for these offenses in New York."

Licensees charged with underage sales face civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation, with fines starting from $2,500 to $3,000 for a first-time offense. Repeat offenders also face potential suspension or revocation of their licenses. Additionally, employees or licensees who sell to minors can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. Persons under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs or false documents with the intent of purchasing alcohol can be arrested and have their license revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year.