The State Liquor Authority sent six men and women, ages 18 to 20, to over 200 New York City bodegas to attempt to buy booze—and, sure enough, at 123 locations, the underaged succeed. The Daily News has details on the three-day sting, "Of the bodegas visited by the SLA, the Bronx had the highest citation rate. Thirty-eight of the 48 stores - about 79% - sold alcohol to underage spies in the borough. Manhattan wasn't far behind with 75% of the bodegas selling to customers under the age of 21."
The SLA, which observed the underage customers making the illegal purchases, says the operation was part of its attempt to crackdown "in neighborhoods where fruit-flavored alcoholic beverages are popular with kids"—like the Nutcracker. One bodega owner busted by the SLA offered this explanation to the News, "Sometimes we forget to card because it's busy. But we usually card. But sometimes it just happens."
The SLA provided a list of the erring establishments (PDF), which reminds us of last year's Post story where an underage intern successfully bought booze at bodegas and bars—it was a great guide for underage drinkers to learn where to buy their beverages.