PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Police were “proud” to report Tuesday that during a sting operation targeting adults who are asked to buy kids alcohol no one was arrested for doing so.
Vice investigators also reported that in some cases clerks at liquor stores and other places that sell booze went outside to confront decoys, telling them that what they were doing was illegal before asking them to leave.
There were 227 attempts to get adults to purchase alcohol, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.
Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control as well as officers from at least 109 local agencies joined forces throughout the state last Saturday as part of the Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation in which a minor, under the direct supervision of a peace officer, will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask people to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way that they are underage and cannot get it themselves.
If the adults agree to do it, officers then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to a minor. The penalty is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. 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.
During the operation, 544 arrests and citations were issued throughout the state, according to authorities. Most were issued citations for giving minors alcohol, however, there were some cited for open containers and false identification. In addition, 60 were arrested for crimes such as driving under the influence, illegal drugs, public drunkenness, parole violations, resisting arrest and outstanding warrants.
Santa Monica investigators used two decoys at 15 different locations Saturday.