On January 21, 2016, the Bakersfield Police Department and Kern County Sheriff’s Office Joint Vice Task Force (JVTF) conducted a “Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation,” which targets adults who purchase alcohol for anyone under the age of 21.
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.
During this operation, officers arrested and cited two subjects for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors.
The operation was conducted at several businesses within the City of Bakersfield, which are licensed by the California Alcoholic Beverage Control.
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. Statistics show they generally have a higher rate of drunken driving crashes than adults.
Studies also show the combination of alcohol and youth tends to increase criminal conduct.
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.
This project is part of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Education and Teen Alcohol Enforcement Program Grant, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.