County offers liquor law lessons

Albany County District Attorney David Soares spoke on the importance of preventing DWI incidents at a free seminar to inform local pub owners about state alcohol laws.

The event was held at the Palace Theatre in Albany on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Soares spoke about collective accountability and a partnership between his office and local establishments that could help prevent underage drinking and accidents.

"These are the most preventative incidents we have," Soares said. "I am going to do what I have to do to prevent that knock on the door at 3 a.m. telling parents their kid's not coming home."

He also said his office has begun compiling information related to drinking and driving accidents regarding the last location a drunk driver was before committing the crime.

Soares said his office is planning to address issues related to safety on college and university campuses in addition to measures to prevent drunken driving before it happens.

He said a newly created panel related to driving while intoxicated features a representative from Siena College, and his office is establishing a relationship with all of the area schools to take preventative measures.

He cited the initiative by the State Liquor Authority to close down Paulie's bar in downtown Albany as an example of efforts to shut down notorious "college" bars.

"We will continue to target locations that serve alcohol to underage drinkers," Soares said.

Soares' office said the seminar is designed to inform establishment owners of the Alcohol Beverage Control laws, also know as the ABC laws.

"We expect the bars to enforce the law, and there's a lot of misconceptions of what those laws are," said Heather Orth, a spokeswoman for Soares' office.

"The State Liquor Authority and the district attorney's office have the responsibility to ensure that those who are licensed to serve alcohol do so lawfully and responsibly. Educating restaurant and bar owners on their duties and obligations is the first step in ensuring all licenses are in full compliance with the law."

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