Governor announces that the state issued a record number of citations in 2019

Officials issued a record number of 1,016 citations to people attempting to purchase alcohol while underage in 2019, up from 922 a year ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. Similarly, authorities also seized a record number of fake IDs: 918, up from 892 in 2018.

Out of eight regions across the state, the Finger Lakes area had the most fake IDs seized with 269 along with the highest number of citations at 325, according to Cuomo’s office.

"Underage drinking is a serious and dangerous offense that will not be tolerated," Cuomo said in a statement. "These record numbers underscore our strong commitment to cracking down on underage drinking and holding those who enable it accountable."

The measures were taken as part of the Operation Prevent initiative, a year-round crackdown on underage drinking and alcohol sales to minors at concert venues, bars, restaurants and retailers. This year’s initiative, carried out by the Department of Motor Vehicles, led to enforcement sweeps at 127 locations across the state.

Meanwhile, the State Liquor Authority issued 480 charges for selling alcohol to a minor as a result of 165 operations at 2,253 locations statewide, according to Cuomo’s office.

Underage individuals found using false documents with the intent of purchasing alcohol can be ticketed and have their licenses suspended or revoked for up to one year, according to state officials. Businesses charged by the Liquor Authority with underage sales face civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation; repeat offenders face possible suspension or revocation of their liquor licenses. Finally, employees or licensees who sell to minors could face misdemeanor charges.

Includes reporting from Messenger Post Media