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Three Cited in an Underage Drinking Enforcement Operation

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Clovis Police Detectives joined more than 50 other California law enforcement agencies over the weekend for a statewide underage drinking enforcement operation.

Detectives conducted a program called a “Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation”. Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask customers to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol. If the adults agree and 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 $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service. The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors.

During the operation which took place on Saturday, our decoy contacted 50 customers at 10 different businesses within the City of Clovis. Forty-eight of those customers refused to buy alcohol for the decoy.  Employees at 4 of the businesses asked the decoy to leave once they were made aware of his presence. A total of 3 citations were issued for furnishing alcohol to a minor. The first offense involved a customer near Alluvial/Temperance. The second offense involved an 18-year-old customer who purchased alcohol at Fair Deal Liquor for our decoy. Both the 18-year-old customer and the store clerk were cited.

The goal of the operation is to demonstrate the serious consequences for adults that buy alcohol for minors. “Unfortunately, thousands of young people die in alcohol-related tragedies every year in this country,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “This collaborative effort among California law enforcement agencies spotlights underage drinking prevention, increases public safety for communities, and boosts protections for California’s youth.”

This detail was funded by a grant by California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agency.