Throughout the city, 118 city stores were caught selling alcohol to minors by the SLA and NYPD. The investigation was part of a coordinated enforcement action to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors statewide and has happened before.
The investigation was conducted jointly by the SLA and the NYPD between Nov. 16 and 18.
SLA investigators and NYPD officers sent underage volunteer decoys into 234 licensed groceries and liquor stores in all five boroughs of New York City. In total, the decoys were able to purchase alcohol at 118 of the premises, including 11 of 25 in the Bronx, 41 of 54 in Brooklyn, 26 of 62 in Manhattan, 34 of 67 in Queens, and 6 of 26 on Staten Island.
This is a better outcome for the Bronx than earlier this year, when the SLA found 38 of 48 bodegas were selling to underage kids.
State Liquor Authority Chairman Dennis Rosen said, "Preventing the sale of alcohol to minors is a top priority for the State Liquor Authority. These large scale enforcement efforts will continue to be a
part of our proactive measures to prevent alcohol abuse among our youth."
The investigation targeted specific locations and neighborhoods found to have a high activity of selling to minors. Licensees charged by the SLA 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. In addition, the NYPD issues criminal court summonses for those making underage sales, charging clerks with Unlawfully Dealing with a Child in the First Degree (a class A misdemeanor) and Prohibited Sale of an Alcoholic Beverage (an unclassified misdemeanor).
UPDATE: Here's a from the SLA's office after we asked them if they thought the recent crackdowns are the reason Bronx bodegas are selling to minors less than they were earlier this year:
"We believe the SLA’s increased enforcement efforts have had a deterrent effect. By conducting these large details, we are sending a message to our licensees that if they sell to minors, they’re going to get caught and they’re going to face serious consequences. These underage sweeps will continue, as we want to make it crystal clear to licensees, if you sell to a minor, you are putting your license in jeopardy."
The Bronx businesses charged with sales to minors are:
* East 174th St. Deli Grocery, 920 E. 174th Street
* 1309 First Stop Deli Grocery, 1309 Clinton Avenue
* JJP Food Center, 1086 Boston Road
* Weeks Deli Grocery, 1777 Weeks Avenue
* Rivas Grocery Corp, 1824 Weeks Avenue
* Felomar Grocery Store, 154 E. 175th Street
* Andres Food, 237 E. 194th Street
* Nizao Grocery, 2840 Briggs Avenue
* The Bronx Gourmet Deli, 226 E. 198th Street
* Deli & Grocery, 29 E. Kingsbridge Avenue
* A & A Grocery & Deli, 361 E. 204th Street