Western New York Faces Crackdown on Underage Drinking

Buffalo is often described as a city with a passion for both sports and nightlife. It’s no secret that locals love to indulge in a few drinks while enjoying a football, hockey, or lacrosse game. And when it comes to finding a place to grab a drink, you won’t have to look far. The city is filled with charming corner watering holes that serve as gathering spots for both locals and visitors alike.

Western New York is home to numerous clubs and bars that decorate the region’s landscape. With the state’s latest last call time at 4 am, you can rest assured that people will be partying throughout the entire night.

In the lively party scene of the 716, it’s not uncommon to come across instances where individuals who should refrain from consuming alcohol end up indulging in it.

The New York State Liquor Authority oversees the regulation of alcohol consumption in New York. In addition to managing the use of alcohol, they also have the important task of preventing individuals who are not authorized to consume it from doing so.

The SLA frequently carries out operations and investigations to prevent underage drinking. This was recently demonstrated in Erie County, where the SLA conducted underage compliance checks.

State Liquor Authority Busts Places Allowing Underage Drinking

The officials of the SLA have been quite busy recently. Not only did they suspend Club Marcella’s liquor license, but they also carried out multiple investigations to apprehend businesses that were selling or serving alcohol to individuals who were underage.

On November 21, 2023, and December 7, 2023, investigators from the SLA conducted visits to 18 different businesses in Western New York to determine if they were illegally selling alcohol to individuals under the age of 21. Out of the 18 businesses visited, 5 were found to be in violation and selling alcohol to underage individuals.

    • 7 Eleven Store on N French Rd in Amherst,
    • Aureus Enterprise on Main St in Amherst,
    • 7 Eleven Store on Transit Rd in Lancaster,
    • Target Store on Transit Rd in Depew, and
    • Tops on Transit Rd in Lancaster.

Businesses that are found guilty of selling to underage individuals can face significant consequences under the SLA. These penalties include civil fines of up to $10,000 per violation, with initial offenses resulting in fines ranging from $2,500 to $4,000. Repeat offenders may also have their licenses suspended or revoked. Furthermore, employees or licensees who sell to minors can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.

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