State announces effort to crack down on underage drinking
Sep 24, 2019 12:30 pm
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Gov. Andrew Cuomo September 20, announced a statewide effort to crack down on underage drinking during the month of October. Law enforcement agencies will work with the state Liquor Authority and the state Department of Motor Vehicles to conduct underage drinking checks at locations suspected of selling alcohol to minors, including bars, restaurants, liquor stores and grocery stores. Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said his department works with state authorities to conduct these investigations. “We do routine...checks with local retail stores that sell beer and we use underage people,” Moore said. “...[W]e find, more often than not, that our stores are in compliance." Coxsackie Police Chief Sam Mento said his department works side by side with state police to conduct sweeps. “We work in conjunction with the state police and they initiate these sweeps. They are very good about contacting local agencies and taking input regarding problematic spots in the community,” Mento said. He said the last violation for selling alcohol to underage customers in Coxsackie was about two years ago. Chatham Police Chief Peter Volkmann, founder of the addiction recovery organization Chatham Cares 4 U, said he supports the state’s initiative. He said, “In Chatham, our retailers have been pretty good — I am pretty confident that any type of initiative will find that our retailers are checking IDs. The initiative of doing checks, and enforcing and regulating, has helped keep everyone on their toes. It keeps people honest.” According to the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, drinking alcohol before age 21 can interfere with brain development, causing learning difficulties well into the early 20s. Early alcohol use is also associated with poor grades, absenteeism and higher school dropout rates, according to the state agency. Read the full story at HudsonValley260 [dot] com.