New York is Easiest Place for Kids to Buy Booze (12/11/12)

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A new report finds that New York State ranks as the easiest place for underage youth to purchase alcohol.  A new report found that about 1 in 6 New Yorkers under the age of 21 were able to buy alcohol within the last 30 days.

As part of the annual report conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, New York averaged at 15 percent for the toughest states to purchase alcohol.  This rate is above the national rate of 8.7 percent.  New Mexico (2.5 percent), Idaho and Oregon were the most difficult state for youth to get liquor. 

Another disturbing trend showed that despite efforts to limit the access and availability of alcohol, many youth were able to purchase liquor themselves.  Overall, New York ranked seventh highest for the percentage of minor that drank alcohol within the previous thirty days.

New York lawmakers and substance-abuse experts complained of weak enforcement of underage alcohol prohibitions, particularly in New York City, because it’s a low priority. They said there’s stricter enforcement against underage drinking in bars and clubs than for illegal alcohol sales in grocery or liquor stores.

“I don’t remember the last time a bodega or grocery got a fine for giving alcohol to a minor in my district,” said state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn). “There’s a lack of will, a lack of enforcement.”

The New York State Health and Health Planning Council proposed a crackdown on underage and adult binge drinking. However Gov. Cuomo shot down the recommendations to curb boozing by increasing taxes on liquor, limiting the number of new bars and liquor stores, and restricting the hours of existing ones.

Source: New York Post