Underage Bronx Drinkers Beware This Labor Day Weekend


BRONX, NY – Deputy Majority Leader and State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester)

in partnership with the Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership (TNCAP), delivered state-of-the art ID scanners to multiple Bronx bars and restaurants just in time for the expected rush of minors attempting to illegally gain entry to bars during this holiday and “back-to-school” weekend. Klein was joined by Frances Maturo of TNCAP, Kathy Gallagher, manager of The Wicked Wolf as well as various owners and representatives from multiple other Bronx bars and restaurants.

The ID scanners, which retail for $800 and up, were given to the owners of  nearly a dozen Bronx establishments who participated in TIPS training courses earlier this summer. 

"Underage drinking remains a pervasive and persistent problem in New York City. With another holiday weekend upon us, we've got to be on alert and ready to take action. By enlisting local bars and restaurants we prevent more minors from being served  - therefore saving many young New Yorkers from harm, injury or even death. But we can do more, by sending a clear message to those who aide minors in gaining access to alcohol – that if they produce and sell fake IDs – they will pay," said State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).

Klein also announced the passage of a new New York State law, which he authored and sponsored, that allows the owner of a bar or restaurant establishment to use evidence of participation in a Training for Intervention Procedures, or TIPS, training class to receive 25% off of a civil penalty resulting from a liquor license revocation or suspension hearing. The bill would also allow a bar owner or server charged with illegally serving underage drinkers to use their TIPS certification as an affirmative defense in a criminal case.

In June, Klein and TNCAP announced the launch of a joint pilot program which called on all those licensed to serve or sell alcohol in three Bronx zip codes to sign up for a TIPS training class. The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) authorizes TIPS classes in order to teach those who serve alcohol how to prevent from selling to underage New Yorkers, as well as how to identify and intervene when an intoxicated patron has reached their legal limit.

"I'm in my 50's and have a lot of experience working in bars but the TIPS training really opened my eyes to a lot of things - a lot of different angles, things to be aware of and look out for.  I'm making TIPS training a requirement for all my bartenders" said Ed Maloney, Owner of Linda's Place in the Bronx and participant in the TIPS training program.

"Tragic consequences often result from underage drinking.  By securing ID scanners for alcohol selling businesses, Senator Klein is helping us prevent this from happening in our community.  TNCAP wants to thank Senator Klein for securing the funding for the scanners and thank the businesses who will use the scanners to stop underage drinking," said Frances Maturo, Executive Director, Archdiocese of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program.

Additionally, Klein’s “Fake ID” bill (S.1871-a) would help combat illegal underage drinking by extending civil liability under New York's dram shop law to those who make and sell fake IDs to anyone under 21 years of age. This means that those who sell fake IDs to minors would be held financially responsible for an injury or death caused by a minor who got drunk using one of these illegal IDs.