410 People arrested so far in statewide Underage Drinking Enforcement Operation

Posted at 7:55 AM, Mar 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-12 12:36:19-04

(California) - Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Officers from approximately 80 local Police and Sheriff’s Departments have arrested or cited 410 individuals (as of 930pm 3-11-17) during a statewide underage drinking enforcement operation designed to create awareness to the problem of underage drinking and also protect California’s youth while increasing public safety.

The goal of the operation is to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking and also make it clear to any adults that buy alcohol for minors that there are serious consequences. “Unfortunately over 4,000 young people die in alcohol-related tragedies every year in this country,” said ABC Acting Director Ramona Prieto. “This collaborative effort among California peace officers creates awareness to underage drinking issues, increase public safety for communities and also boosts protections for California’s young people.”

As of 9:30pm Saturday, 354 individuals were cited for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors. With so many extra officers on the job today another 56 individuals were taken into custody for various crimes such as drugs, public drunkenness, open container, minor in possession of alcohol and there was even an arrest for armed robbery. Todays’ operation helps build safer and stronger communities by holding individuals accountable for illegal activity that creates harm.

ABC agents and local law enforcement conducted a program called the “Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation”.  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, and 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 of today’s 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 protects communities through excellence in education and by administering prevention and enforcement programs designed to increase compliance with California’s alcoholic beverage laws.

ABC’s mission is to provide the highest level of service and public safety through licensing, education and enforcement. To learn more about ABC programs that help protect communities, prevent alcohol-related harm and potentially save lives visit ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.