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Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Officers from nearly 100 local Police and Sheriff’s Departments have joined forces throughout California in a Statewide Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation.

So far, there have been 412 citations and arrests during a major effort to help reduce youth access to alcohol and also make the streets safer.


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Most individuals were cited for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors, however, there were some cited for open containers and false identification. In addition 22 individuals have been arrested for crimes such as possession of illegal drugs, public drunkenness, parole violations and outstanding warrants. The operation is being 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. 

Many local operations were funded by the California Department of 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 Services and Housing Agency..

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