The Hamptons Police Department conducted several surprise raids across the South Fork and Shelter Island over the weekend during an investigation into compliance with legal age regulations at bars, nightclubs, restaurants and other commercial establishments. No evidence of minors being served alcohol was discovered, but that wasn’t what the police were after.
“This wasn’t about underage drinking,” explained Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch. “This was about complying with the Hamptons Median Age Codes.”
Hirsch was referring to regulations that require that the median age of customers at dining and drinking establishments in the Hamptons should remain at all times within the range of 51–65 years. These Codes were put into place after people expressed alarm at, as it says in the text of the law, “waves of 20-somethings overrunning our bars and eateries and threatening our way of life.”
The Codes have been controversial, and have been somewhat spottily enforced. However, the Hamptons Police are renewing their efforts, seeing it as a quality-of-life issue.
“Your average Hamptons residents or visitors have, as they say, reached a certain age,” said spokesman Hirsch. “How do you think it makes them feel to sit in a restaurant or bar surrounded by people their grandchildren’s age? Let’s face it: if a guy wanted to feel like the oldest guy in the room, he would go to Boston.”
Hirsch went on to say that the raids had shown that, with a few exceptions, establishments are adhering to the Codes. “It would appear that local restaurants and bars generally use the mechanism of price to discourage youthful customers.”