A sweep of three Oneonta bars on Saturday night found hundreds of underage drinkers, according to city police.
A 30-strong contingent of city police, state police, Otsego County deputies, SUNY Oneonta police, state Liquor Authority investigators and state Department of Motor Vehicle investigators fanned out across downtown in three teams at about 10 p.m., Lt. Dennis Nayor said Monday morning.
Their targets were The Upper Deck, The Alley and Today’s Lounge, which were identified by Liquor Authority investigators has having a history of violating state law, he said.
The bars were raided at the same time to prevent underage drinkers from leaving the establishment and to prevent bar management from tightening their security before the sweep reached their doors, according to Nayor.
Although a majority of patrons in the three establishments were underage, according to Nayor, instead of arresting them, the authorities took statements, which will likely be used in Liquor Authority cases against the bar owners.
“Right now what is going on is the state Liquor Authority is completing their paperwork and presenting it to their legal department,” Nayor said.
Nineteen tickets were issued to young people caught up in the sweep for possessing fictitious or altered driver’s licenses.