The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced that underage drinking enforcement operations in the cities of Albany and Cortland netted 33 arrests on Friday, February 10. DMV’s Division of Field Investigation worked with the Albany Police Department and the Cortland Police Department to conduct Operation Prevent sweeps at a number of different establishments. These two enforcement operations netted eight arrests in Albany and 25 arrests in Cortland of underage patrons who were attempting to use fraudulent driver licenses to purchase alcohol or enter bars.
“Our investigators are out year round preventing underage drinking and keeping our roadways safe across New York,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “Underage drinking can have lasting consequences on an individual, while fake IDs pose significant identity theft risks when they are purchased online. Through our Operation Prevent program, we continue to save lives, protect our roads and ensure the integrity of New York’s identification documents.”
During Operation Prevent sweeps, DMV investigators work with state and local law enforcement agencies to check identification documents. Individuals under the age of 21 using fake IDs or false documents with the intent to purchase alcohol can be arrested and have their license revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year.
On Friday, February 10, DMV investigators, in cooperation with the Albany Police Department, arrested eight individuals in the City of Albany for the use of fraudulent identification documents. Investigators and police officers seized documents and made arrests at Sabatino’s Liquor Store on Quail Street and the Exxon mini-mart on Ontario Street. IDs were also checked at the Lionheart Pub on Madison Avenue, with no IDs seized nor arrests made. Fake IDs were confiscated from Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey.
Also on Friday night, DMV investigators, in cooperation with the City of Cortland Police Department, visited multiple establishments within the City of Cortland, including the Dark Horse Tavern, the Red Jug Pub, the Stone Lounge, Hairy Tony’s and Brix Pubario. The sweep resulted in the arrests of 25 individuals for possession of a fraudulent/altered document. In addition, fake IDs were confiscated from Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Florida and New York.
In December, Governor Cuomo announced that underage drinking sweeps conducted by DMV investigators in 2016 resulted in the seizure of 862 fraudulent licenses and the arrest of 818 individuals for underage drinking, both single year records. The previous record of 751 seized ID documents and 758 arrests was set in 2015.
Operation Prevent investigations are funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to deter underage drinking and keep New York’s roadways safe. The investigations are conducted all year long, not only at bars and drinking establishments, but also at concerts, events, or wherever underage patrons are likely to gather. DMV also conducts operations at the request of bar owners, law enforcement, and the State Liquor Authority in larger cities and college towns.
For more information on DMV, visit dmv.ny.gov.