Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that state investigators will be on patrol at popular summer concert venues to crackdown on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs to purchase alcohol. Beginning this week and throughout the summer, Operation Prevent enforcement sweeps will be conducted at CMAC in Canandaigua, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Jones Beach, and the Lakeview Amphitheater.

“New Yorkers fought hard against COVID-19, and because of their toughness, we can once again enjoy live music at the outstanding venues across this state,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue to overcome the tragedies of the past year, I urge everyone to celebrate responsibly. Through this enforcement effort, investigators are working together to combat a dangerous problem and keep New Yorkers safe.”

Operation Prevent is an ongoing effort to stop and prevent underage drinking, promote healthier choices among young New Yorkers and enhance roadway safety. Operation Prevent is supported by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and led by investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles in cooperation with the State Liquor Authority, State Police, State Parks Police, and local law enforcement.

Mark J.F. Schroeder, DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, said, “We can finally get back to enjoying summer concerts—don’t spoil the fun by using a fake ID. Our investigators are experts at detecting fakes, and they use state-of-the-art equipment to verify fraudulent IDs. No matter how good you think yours is, they will spot it and you will be charged. Apart from the legal cost of underage drinking, you also put yourself and others at risk. It is just not worth it.”

Those who are under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs to buy alcohol can be ticketed and their licenses can be revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year. In 2019, DMV investigators carried out enforcement sweeps at 127 locations statewide. A record 918 fake IDs were seized and a record of 1,016 citations were issued to people attempting to buy alcohol while underage.

According to the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports, teens who drink are more likely to:

  • Be involved in car crashes, experience alcohol poisoning, commit or fall victim to murder or suicide.
  • Become victims or perpetrators of physical or sexual assault, compared to peers who do not drink.
  • Have run-ins with the law, face trouble in school or take part in other potentially addictive behaviors such as drug use or gambling.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).