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Over 500 Arrested in California Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation

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(California) - Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Officers from at least 109 Police and Sheriff's Departments joined forces throughout California in the Largest Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation in State History.

The operation has resulted in 544 arrests.

 This operation involved several teams from ABC and at least 109 local police agencies. The Shoulder Tap Operation was designed to help reduce youth access to alcohol.

Most individuals were cited for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors. There were some who were arrested for crimes such as drunken driving, illegal drugs, false identification, open containers in public, public drunkenness, parole violations and outstanding warrants.  The operation was conducted statewide.

ABC agents and local law enforcement conducted a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation which can lead to the arrest of adults who purchase alcohol for people under 21 years old.  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.

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.

Many local operations were funded by the California Alcoholic Beverage Control through the department's Grant Assistance Program (GAP), and some were funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.