NJ Underage Drinkers Beware; More Than 200 Arrests at Jersey Shore
It may be close to the end of the unofficial summer season, but the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is warning underage drinkers and those who help them get alcohol to think twice before buying it. Law enforcement officials and ABC investigators have made more than 200 arrests at the Jersey Shore this summer.
"We are going to be relentless in our efforts to combat underage drinking," said Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Michael Halfacre. "We are placing a spotlight on everyone involved in this: from the underage person who tries to buy, to the adult who agrees to help them buy, to the bartender who serves them."
Since May, investigators have visited 130 licensed establishments in New Jersey and have carded 1,091 patrons.
That resulted in 81 arrests relating to the sale, service or consumption of alcohol by underage drinkers. Recently, four people, including a bartender, were arrested and charged for underage-related violations at the Sand Bar Restaurant in Brielle. The bartender allegedly sold the alcohol to another woman who passed the drinks to two underage girls.
Underage drinking and purchasing alcohol underage are disorderly persons offenses, carrying potential fines of at least $500 and a six-month driver's license suspension. The liquor licenses of establishments that are involved face possible administrative charges which could result in the suspension of the bar's alcoholic beverage license.
"It's not just individuals that face major consequences when it comes to underage drinking. Our licensees are strictly liable for what happens on their premises. That small sale to an underage person of a bottle of whiskey at the liquor store counter or a pint of beer at the bar carries with it major financial implications. That includes the potential loss of a license which is a major investment and commodity for licensees," said Halfacre.