One teenager and 11 adults were issued 18 summonses after the Wayne Police Department and the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) conducted an undercover operation in the township Friday night in an effort to combat underage drinking, Wayne Det. Captain Mark McGrath announced in a release Tuesday.
According to McGrath, the operation targeted two township restaurants – the TGI Friday’s on Route 23 and Amore Cucina Pub 611 on Ratzer Road.
At Friday’s, undercover cops saw a young man sitting in a booth drinking alcohol, McGrath said. When cops determined he was only 17 years old, they took him into custody, issued a juvenile complaint for underage consumption of alcohol, and released him to a parent, police said.
A 22-year-old woman he was sitting with was charged with providing an alcoholic beverage to a minor and released on a summons, and the 23-year-old waitress that served them was charged with selling an alcoholic beverage to an underage person, McGrath said.
At Amore, cops said their surveillance and investigation led to four 20-year-old men from Wayne, and three 19-year-old females from Wayne, West Milford, and Totowa being charged with underage consumption of alcohol and providing fake identification for the purpose of consuming alcohol, McGrath said.
The bar’s bouncer, a 32-year-old man from Wayne, was charged with allowing an underage person to enter a licensed premise to consume alcohol and the bartender, a 30-year-old man from Wayne, was charged with selling an alcoholic beverage to an underage person, McGrath said.
According to cops, all of the summonses are considered disorderly persons offenses, and are punishable by fines of at least $500. The underage drinking charges may also be punished by six months of suspended driving, police said.
“We appreciate the assistance of the State ABC in helping us to conduct this proactive enforcement operation,” McGrath said in the release.
“Our goal is to keep alcohol out of the hands of underage individuals and the message to people trying to obtain alcohol underage as well as the message to the licensed premise owners and their employees is that the Wayne Police Department takes this issue very seriously and we can appear at any premise at any time.”