On February 13, 2020, officers from the Santa Monica Police Department’s Vice Unit conducted a minor decoy operation to check on compliance at on-sale alcohol retail establishments within the City of Santa Monica. The Minor Decoy Program uses supervised individuals under the age of 20, who attempt to purchase alcohol at licensed premises. Any sale of alcohol to a minor decoy may result in criminal and administrative sanctions for the employee and the licensee.

The team visited six alcohol retail establishments within the city of Santa Monica. Four of the establishments did a commendable job and used proper protocol as the minor decoy was denied alcohol at each location. Violations were obtained at two locations and the employee was issued a citation for selling alcohol to a minor.

The following locations engaged in responsible sales of alcohol by asking for the decoy’s age, identification and refusing to sell alcohol upon determining the minor was under 21:

Del Frisco’s – 1551 Ocean Avenue

Red O – 1541 Ocean Avenue

Lowes Hotel – 1700 Ocean Avenue

Le Merigot Hotel – 1740 Ocean Avenue.

The following locations sold alcohol to the minor decoy and the involved employee was issued a citation:

Blue Plate Taco – 1515 Ocean Avenue

Jimmy’s Famous Tavern – 1733 Ocean Avenue.

The Minor Decoy Program has proven to be an effective tool in promoting responsible practices in the sales of alcoholic beverages by licensees, reducing substance abuse and enhancing community welfare by limiting underage access to alcohol.

This project is part of the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control’s Alcohol Policing Partnership Program.

Submitted by Lieutenant Joseph Cortez

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