The New York State Liquor Authority announced Friday that it had conducted a sting operation in Tompkins County last week, snaring three Ithaca businesses selling alcohol to underage customers.
Sam's Wine and Spirits, Ithaca Ale House and the Ithaca Marriott Downtown were all named as violators in a press release from the SLA on Friday. The lone Ithaca business named as refusing to sell to minors: the Commons Market.
It's unclear how or if the offending businesses will be punished, though a spokesperson said that the violating businesses have mostly spotless records, at least recently.
"The penalties are determined by the three member Board of the State Liquor Authority, who take into consideration the history of recent violations at the locations," SLA spokesperson William Crowley wrote in an email. "All three Ithaca locations have a clean recent history; this is the first violation for 'Sam’s Wine and Spirits' and the 'Marriot' - the 'Ithaca Ale House' has not had a violation since 2002, which was also a sale to a minor."
The SLA stated that licensees charged with underage sales could face penalties of up to a $10,000 fine per violation, with fines starting from $2,500 to $3,000 for first time offenses. Repeat offenders run the risk of license suspension or revocation. There's also the possibility of misdemeanor charges for selling to minors.
The SLA also hit Steuben County on the same day, catching three businesses selling alcohol to underage customers.