NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Nearly three dozen New York City grocery and liquor stores have recently been caught selling liquor to minors in a decoy operation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
Cuomo said the State Liquor Authority sent minors undercover into 74 stores between April 17 and May 1 to try to buy alcohol. They were accompanied by investigators, who watched the attempted purchases from elsewhere in the stores. In all, 32 underage purchases were made.
“The law is the law, and we will continue do whatever it takes to crack down on underage drinking and hold accountable those who serve alcohol to minors,” the governor said in a statement. “Our message is simple: If you put children at risk by placing alcohol in their hands, you will face the consequences.”
Cuomo said the decoy buyers were able to purchase liquor in 15 out of 16 stores they visited in Brooklyn, but only one of 15 in the Bronx. The rates in the city’s other boroughs were in the middle.
A $147,000 grant funded the decoy operation, the state said.
The shops face fines of up to $10,000 per violation, though fines start from $2,500 to $3,000 for a first time offense. Repeat offenders also face potential suspension or revocation of their licenses.
The effort is expected to run through September. In that time, decoys will check out 1,000 stores around the city.
For a list of the businesses selling to minors, click here.
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