(Albany, NY) – As temperatures heat up, the New York State Senate moved to crackdown on a dangerous summer practice where sugary, colorful alcoholic drinks are sold to minors, posing a health and safety risk for young people and communities throughout New York. The “Nutcracker Bill,” sponsored by Senator Adriano Espaillat (D – Manhattan/Bronx) will severely stiffen penalties for those engaging in the practice, adding harsh fines and imprisonment for repeat offenders.
UPPER MANHATTAN —Businesses selling fruity alcohol drinks to minors are facing stiffer fines and longer jail sentences after an Upper Manhattan-led crackdown. State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who represents Washington Heights and Inwood, sponsored a New York State Senate bill which seeks to crack down on the fruity booze, known as "nutcrackers."
It was passed Monday. "Study after study has demonstrated that alcohol and minors simply do not mix," Sen. Espaillat said in a press release.
With the summer heat starting to settle in, thirsty minors looking for a buzz are once again turning their attention to Nutcrackers—a sweet homemade cocktail illegally sold to legal and underage drinkers on the street, in bodegas and in barbershops—much to the chagrin of lawmakers and police. And Albany will not let that stand. Yesterday the State Senate passed a so-called "Nutcracker Bill" that will greatly increase the punishments for Nutcracker peddlers, assuming it passes in the Assembly.
Pols Want to Clamp Down on Sugary Booze Sales to Minors
June 8, 2011
By Zachary Kussin
Bodegas and stores that sell a sweetened alcoholic beverage known as "nutcrackers" to underage customers could soon face tough penalties --including fines and jail time.
The so-called "Nutcracker Bill," which unanimously passed a vote in the New York State Senate on Monday, comes after investigators found that barbershops and small grocery stores around the five boroughs had been selling the mixed drinks to minors.
The drinks are generally made of hard liquor, like vodka or rum, and highly sweetened juice or Kool-Aid. The beverages seem to be especially targeted to teens because they are cheap and sugary.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat (D – Manhattan/Bronx) called for an end to the disturbing practice of dumping untreated sewage waste, even in extenuating circumstances. Sen. Espaillat, joined by environmental activists following a major accident at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant and the ensuing dumping of millions of gallons of untreated sewage into the Hudson River, also called for better notification systems to alert the public in emergency cases where the quality of New York waterways has been compromised.
CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — Swimming in the Hudson River is unsafe 21 percent of the time because of pollution from sewage, according to a report issued Tuesday that sampled the water from New York City to Troy.
But the study, by the environmental group Riverkeeper, said most places are acceptably clean most of the time, and that illustrates progress.