The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced that its underage enforcement actions at last month's Mumford and Sons concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) resulted in the arrest of 16 concertgoers and the seizure of 15 counterfeit identification documents.
The arrests were made just hours after the announcement by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo that DMV, in partnership with the State Liquor Authority (SLA), New York State Park Police, New York State Police, and local law enforcement agencies, would be launching coordinated sweeps during the summer concert season as part of ongoing efforts to deter underage drinking and prevent the use of fake IDs. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul also led a press conference at SPAC the day of the concert emphasizing the importance of keeping New York's youth safe during the summer concert season.
"Governor Cuomo's announcement of coordinated sweeps statewide was meant to send a message to young adults that using fake IDs to obtain alcohol, at concerts and elsewhere, is just not worth it. Unfortunately, some did not get the message and learned the hard way when they tried to use fake IDs to purchase alcohol at SPAC," said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. "DMV investigators are going to be out there, unannounced, all summer long and beyond, to reinforce the message that underage drinking will not be tolerated. We want all New Yorkers to have a safe summer. Deterring underage drinking keeps us all safer. Thanks to our partners for helping us carry out this important initiative."
DMV and SLA investigators used portable document verification machines from Advanced ID Detection to check the identity documents of concertgoers seeking to purchase alcohol on the SPAC grounds and charged 16 individuals with a violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 509. Investigators recovered 15 fraudulent driver licenses or identification cards, including five from Connecticut, three from New Jersey, two from Rhode Island, and one each from Maine, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
Additionally, State Park Police arrested four people for driving while intoxicated, two on illegal drug possession charges, and one forgery charge, as well as ticketed five individuals for underage drinking, three for traffic violations and one for violating State Park regulations.
"The arrests and citations reflect our commitment to ensure that visitors to State Park concert facilities enjoy a safe experience," said State Park Police Chief David Herrick. "New York State Park Police will continue working with our law enforcement partners to crack down on dangerous and illegal activities at concerts throughout the summer."
"Minors who attempt to buy alcohol with fake IDs are quickly learning that the professionals at DMV won't be fooled," said Chairman Vincent Bradley. "The SLA commends our partners at DMV and law enforcement for launching this proactive summer campaign to deter underage drinking and keep New Yorkers safe."
Those found in possession of a fraudulent ID were arrested and their fake identity documents were confiscated. Patrons under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs or false documents with the intent of purchasing alcohol can be arrested and have their license revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year.
The summer crackdown is part of Operation Prevent, a DMV initiative conducted all year long that targets not only concerts, but bars and drinking establishments, events, and other underage hot spots Operation Prevent is supported by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. In addition to SPAC, Operation Prevent sweeps have been conducted at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Genesee County and CMAC in Canandaigua. This year, Operation Prevent will expand to additional venues, including Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (Jones Beach State Park) on Long Island.
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