Every year, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department conducts a sweeping alcoholic beverage sales compliance check that carries on for several weeks over the summer.
With Putnam County Communities that Care Coalition aiding in the funding for the initiative, the sheriff’s narcotics enforcement unit nabbed 13 individuals arrested and accused of selling alcoholic beverages to underage minors. Overall, deputies held 60 inspections of establishments licensed to sell.
Among the businesses that had one or more employees caught included J&P Retail in Brewster, New Tuscany Wines & Spirits in Southeast, Putnam Wine & Liquors, Sterling Wines & Liquors, Messim Auto Service, CVS Pharmacy, Grapevine Wines, which are all in Carmel, Scotty’s Wine & Liquors and State Line Food and Beverage, both in Patterson, Osca Deli & Gas and Lakeside Deli, both in Putnam Valley, and Gulfmart in Philipstown.
Each individual caught received an arrest summons and was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in the 1st degree, a misdemeanor. If convicted, that person can spend up to a year in jail and/or possibly get fined $1,000 by a court. Additional sanctions may be imposed by the New York State Liquor Authority that could include a suspension or revocation of the establishment’s liquor license.
Overall, Sheriff Don Smith said he was grateful the recent compliance check indicated 81 percent of businesses were following the law when inspected.
“The members of the Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition and Putnam County Sheriff’s Office are committed in keeping harmful substances out of the hands of our young people,” Smith said.
During the checks, an underage minor acting under the direct supervision of an officer attempted to buy an alcoholic beverage without presenting the cashier with an ID that proved their age.
“We can and must do better. Unannounced inspections will continue in the near future,” Smith said.