Drug-Free Campus Guidelines: New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (ABC Law)

Prohibited Sales

(Excerpts from ABC Law Section 65)

No person shall sell, deliver, or give away or cause or permit or procure to be sold, delivered, or given away any alcoholic beverages to:

  1. Any person, actually or apparently, under the age of 21 years;
  2. Any visibly intoxicated person;
  3. Any habitual drunkard known to be such to the person authorized to dispense any alcoholic beverages.
  4. Neither such person so refusing to sell or deliver under this section nor his or her employer shall be liable in any civil or criminal action or for any fine or penalty based upon such refusal, except that such sale or delivery shall not be refused, withheld from or denied to any person on account of race, creed, color, or national origin.
  5. The provisions of subdivision one of this section shall not apply to a person who gives or causes to be given any such alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21 years, who is a student in a curriculum licensed or registered by the state education department and is required to taste or imbibe alcoholic beverages in courses which are part of the required curriculum, provided such alcoholic beverages are used only for instructional purposes during on-campus or off-campus courses conducted pursuant to such curriculum.

In New York State, a Class A Misdemeanor is committed when an alcoholic beverage is given to a person under the age of 21. This crime is punishable by up to one-year imprisonment and a $1,000 fine.

Procuring Alcoholic Beverages for Persons under the Age of 21

(ABC Law Section 65-a)

Any person who misrepresents the age of a person under the age of 21 years for the purpose of inducing the sale of any alcoholic beverage, as defined in the alcoholic beverage control law, to such person, is guilty of an offense and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200, or by imprisonment for not more than five days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Offense for One Under Age of 21 to Purchase or Attempt to Purchase Alcoholic Beverages through Fraudulent Means

(Excerpts from Section ABC Law 65-b)

2a. No person under the age of 21 years shall present or offer to any licensee under this chapter, or to the agent or employee of such licensee, any written evidence of age which is false, fraudulent, or not actually his own, for the purpose of purchasing or attempting to purchase any alcoholic beverage. (For a first violation, a person violating the provisions of this subdivision is guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $100, and/or an appropriate amount of community service not to exceed 30 hours, and/or completion of an alcohol awareness program.)

If a New York driver’s license was used as the false identification, a violator’s license may be suspended for 90 days. Since the ABC Law requires sellers of alcoholic beverages to demand a driver’s license, passport, or armed forces ID card as evidence of age, serious consequences will result from altering one of the required forms of official ID. Possession of a forged instrument with the intent to defraud is a Class D Felony, punishable by a fine up to $5,000, imprisonment up to seven years, or both (See NYS Penal Law, 170.25).

2b. No licensee or agent or employee of such licensee shall accept as written evidence of age by any such person for the purchase of alcoholic beverage, any documentation other than: (i) a valid driver’s license or non-driver identification card issued by the commissioner of motor vehicles, the federal government, any United States territory, commonwealth or possession, the District of Columbia, a state government within the United States or a provincial government of the dominion of Canada, or (ii) a valid passport issued by the United States government or any other country, or (iii) an identification card issued by the armed forces of the United States.