(California) – Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Officers from at least 109 local Police and Sheriff’s Departments joined forces throughout California in a Statewide Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation on Saturday, March 15. The operation resulted in 544 citations and arrests during a major effort to help reduce youth access to alcohol and also make the streets safer.
Most individuals were cited for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors, however, there were some cited for open containers and false identification. In addition 60 individuals were arrested for crimes such as driving under the influence, illegal drugs, public drunkenness, parole violations, resisting arrest and outstanding warrants. The operation was conducted statewide.
ABC agents and local law enforcement conducted a program called a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation which can lead to the arrest of adults who purchase alcohol for people under 21 years old. Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol.
If the adults agree to purchase alcohol for the minor, officers then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise health, and result in unintentional injury and death.
Many local operations were funded by the California Alcoholic Beverage Control through the department’s Grant Assistance Program (GAP), and some were funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Servicesand Housing Agency.