"Nutcracker Bill" Takes Aim At Boozy Barbershops
By Garth Johnson
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.
“Study after study has demonstrated that alcohol and minors simply do not mix,” said the bill's sponsor, Senator Adriano Espaillat, in a release. “The dangers of alcohol consumption for minors are even worse when they are sold sugary, colorful alcoholic beverages that are easy to drink but deceptively intoxicating. I’m thrilled that the Senate passed my legislation which creates a real disincentive for alcohol to be sold to minors by severely stiffening penalties for abusers.”
Basically, if the bill gets through the Assembly—and since it passed in the Senate 61-0 with one abstention, it has a good chance—barbershops and bodegas caught selling the potent potable could lose their licenses. Further, it dramatically increases the penalty for those who manufacture or sell booze without the proper license (or with a revoked or suspended license).
However, when/if it passes, the "Nutcracker Bill" won't be law for another 120 days. So if you are illegally selling sweet booze to minors a) please stop and b) you might want to keep close track of how this does when it goes to vote. Your illicit (but lucrative) livelihood is at stake!