Two Cited for Purchasing Alcohol for a Minor

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04/11/13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Sgt. Craig Miller    760-839-4722 

Detectives with Escondido Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit cited two individuals for purchasing alcohol for a minor on April 11, 2013.  The citations were the result of a “Shoulder Tap” operation in which a minor under the direct supervision of department agents asked people entering stores that sell alcoholic beverages to purchase alcohol on her behalf. 

The two individuals, a 57-year-old male from Escondido and a 41-year-old male from Escondido, face fines of up to $250 and up to 32 hours of community service if convicted of the misdemeanor offense. 

ABC is conducting operations statewide to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors.  Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.  

Shoulder Tap operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state since the 1980s.  In addition to Shoulder Tap operations, ABC and local law enforcement also conduct Minor Decoy operations in which underage decoys attempt to purchase alcohol. When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments selling to minors was as high as 40 to 50 percent.  When conducted on a routine basis, the rate has dropped in some cities as low as 10 percent or even below. 

In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees and individuals are complying with the law.  

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) through the department’s Grant Assistance Program.