Featured in: The Post Star

Story by: Don Lehman

Link to full article can be found here: http://poststar.com/news/local/officials-warn-salons-not-to-serve-alcohol-without-a-license/article_a9d861d6-4c0e-51a5-a8a4-f57506ce0c83.html

A local substance abuse prevention organization issued a warning to local salons Monday after learning some have apparently been allowing alcohol to be illegally provided to clients.

With prom season in full swing, the Prevention Council of Saratoga Springs issued the advisory after learning of allegations that an underage client was offered alcohol at a salon in South Glens Falls.

The South Glens Falls Community Coalition for Family Wellness joined in the warning, and the organizations said the consumption of alcohol at salons is concerning as prom season gets into full swing.

The organizations issued the warning after being told at a recent community forum that a teenager was offered alcohol at a salon in South Glens Falls last fall, said Jenn Wood, coordinator of the South Glens Falls Community Coalition for Family Wellness. She would not identify the salon.

“We were told by some of the adults that it’s not unusual for salons to offer alcoholic beverages,” Wood said.

Webb said her office looked into the legality of alcohol being consumed at places without liquor licenses, and received an opinion from the state Liquor Authority that it is illegal, even if alcohol is brought to the business by patrons.

Businesses that want to allow “bring your own” alcohol consumption “must have a license or permit to sell/serve beer, wine or liquor to the public. Venues without a license or permit may not allow patrons to ‘bring their own’ alcoholic beverages for consumption,” according to the Liquor Authority.

“We realize that many businesses may not understand that it is illegal to serve alcohol unless licensed, even if no money is exchanging hands,” Wood said in a news release. “Yet a teen in our community was offered an alcoholic beverage at a salon and we must take steps to address this practice. Our hope is that businesses will see this information and regulate their own practices accordingly. Failure to do so could result in charges if they are reported to the authorities.”

South Glens Falls Police Patrolman David Gifford said the department received an anonymous complaint in recent months about possible underage drinking at a salon in the village. He said the complaint was investigated and no charges were filed because it appeared the person who was offered the alcohol was part of a wedding party and was of age.

It is illegal to serve alcohol at a business without a liquor license, Gifford said.