When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many bars and restaurants were forced to shut down in order to slow the spread of the virus. Since then, New York State has allowed them to reopen under certain restrictions. This includes enforcing social distancing, limiting the number of patrons allowed in the establishment, and more. Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed a task force in order to investigate those who may be violating these regulations in order to continue protecting the state.
Between July 21 and July 23, the task force investigated over 1,100 bars and restaurants throughout the state, finding 84 violations. Those who were found to be violating the regulations are facing serious penalties, such as a fine of $10,000 per person. In serious cases, businesses can have their liquor licenses suspended. In the last week, the task force observed 41 more violations and suspended seven liquor licenses.
Speaking on the violations, Governor Cuomo stated, “The rising rate of infection among young people and the issue of crowded bars is not unique to New York — the World Health Organization has warned about it, states all across the country are dealing with it, and even the President has said young people should avoid bars — but we are taking decisive action in the Empire State to make sure it does not undermine our progress against the coronavirus … The State Police and State Liquor Authority are doing their jobs — and we need local governments to step up and do theirs.”
Adding to the matter, State Liquor Authority Chair Vincent Bradley said, “We will continue to hold licensees accountable for protecting New Yorkers’ health and safety in bars and restaurants. New Yorkers have sacrificed to bend the curve of coronavirus, and at a time when dozens of states are seeing cases surge, we all have a shared responsibility to keep this virus at bay.”
These violations can severely impact the well-being of a business. It is because of this that if you believe your business was wrongfully charged with violating coronavirus-related regulations, reach out to our experienced New York criminal defense attorney for assistance with your case.
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Criminal matters can change the course of your life forever. This is why you need an experienced attorney who will aggressively combat your charges to help mitigate their long-term effects. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter on Long Island or throughout New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to assist you.