Agents of the California Alcoholic Beverage Control, along with the Escondido Police Department on Wednesday evening, cited one store clerk and one restaurant bartender for selling alcohol to a minor. The citations were the result of a minor decoy operation in which a minor under the direct supervision of department agents attempted to purchase alcohol from six retail licensees in the city of Escondido.

The liquor store clerk is a 28-year-old male resident of Vista.  The bartender is a 33-year-old female resident of San Diego. They both face a minimum fine of $250 and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for the first violation. In addition, ABC will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the businesses where the alcohol was sold. This may include a fine, suspension of their licenses or the permanent revocation of the licenses.

ABC and police statewide conduct compliance checks 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.

Minor decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout California since the 1980s. When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments selling alcohol to minors was as high as 40 percent to 50 percent. When these details are conducted on a regular basis, the rate dropped in some cities to 10 percent or lower.

The ABC and the Escondido Police Department will continue to conduct minor decoy operations, as well as other compliance checks of establishments throughout the year.

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

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

ABC is a department of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.


To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our Anonymous Tip Line at 760-743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at  For breaking news releases, please follow the Escondido Police Department on Twitter at



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