Buena Park PD runs underage drinking decoy operation

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The Buena Park Police Department has cited one clerk for selling alcohol to minors and also cited three adults who purchased alcohol for minors on Jan. 27. The actions were the result of a Minor Decoy Operation and Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation.

Those who sold to the minor face a minimum fine of $250, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation. In addition, Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business. That may include a fine, a suspension of the license, or the permanent revocation of the license.

In addition to the Minor Decoy Operation, investigators also conducted a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation. A Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation targets adults who purchase alcohol for people less than 21 years of age. 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.

When the program first began in the 1980s, 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 some cities.

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