TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The next time you head to the check out counter at your local liquor store, you may notice new signs aimed at curbing underage drinking in New York State.
State and local leaders came together at Midnight Liquors Wednesday morning to launch the new “No Excuses” campaign in our area. It’s meant to send a strong message that underage drinking or any attempt to purchase alcohol underage will not be tolerated.
The campaign is the result of a partnership between the NYS Liquor Authority and Responsibility.org, and has been welcomed by local law enforcement agencies and representatives from across the liquor industry, from the distillers to the local store. “It takes a village and we appreciate the important work both groups are doing in the fight against underage drinking,” said Capt. Ed Baker with the West Seneca Police Department.
“It is a serious issue that we do not take lightly. Midnight Liquors and the people behind me, the other retailers, will all attest that we do not sell alcohol to anybody without a valid drivers license,” Midnight Liquors owner David LiSacchi said during Wednesday’s campaign launch.
One goal of the campaign is to spark conversations between teenagers and their parents, who, police say, often are the ones who provide the alcohol at underage drinking parties, especially this time of year as prom and graduation season approaches.
The speakers at Wednesday’s campaign event noted that underage drinking is actually down across the country these days, but said more needs to be done to crack down on the illegal, dangerous behavior.
The State Liquor Authority has dramatically increased enforcement actions to crack down on sales to minors and provide more education to licensees on their responsibilities. SLA prosecutions for underage sales are up 50 percent since 2010, while the number of of licenses and their staff who have completed the Alcohol Training Awareness Program to prevent underage sales has increased 150 percent over the same time period.
More than 15,000 “No Excuses” campaign display items have already been delivered to liquor stores and restaurants across the state.