Area businesses face fines for illegal sales

A number of area bars and businesses have been cited by the New York State Liquor Authority and the Department of Motor Vehicles to combat underage drinking.

During this enforcement effort in the months of August, September and October, the authority sent underage decoys to 506 establishments, citing 141 for illegal sales to minors. In addition, DMV investigators arrested 271 people under the age of 21 attempting to use false identification to purchase alcohol.

Businesses cited for illegal sales included three bars in Fredonia; three businesses in Dunkirk; a Fredonia business; as well as businesses in Westfield, Ripley, Forestville and Silver Creek.

Businesses that did not sell to the decoys include: Sheridan Liquor & Wine, Sheridan; Barone Liquor Store, Silver Creek; Main Wine & Spirits, Dunkirk; Noble Winery, Westfield; Johnson Estate Winery, Westfield.

Also: Matt’s News, Save A-Lot, Robo Enterprises North and Crosby’s, all in Dunkirk, as well as Crosby’s in Fredonia and Fredonia Food Mart; and Silver Creek Rite Aid.

“Underage drinking can lead to bad decisions and dangerous situations that can have lifelong consequences or needless tragedy,” said state Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Through on-going enforcement efforts, we will continue to crack down on this dangerous behavior and target businesses that break the law by selling to minors and underage adults.”

During the investigations, State Liquor Authority investigators entered the licensed premises separately from the undercover minor to observe and verify when illegal transactions occurred.

Licensees charged by the authority 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.