Nevada County Sheriff’s Office uses minor in alcohol sales decoy operation

October 4th, 2012

On Saturday, Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a plain-clothes operation under a grant issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control to check on whether local stores were selling alcohol to minors — and to see if adults would agree to buy the minor alcohol.

One business was successful in preventing the purchase and will be sent a letter of congratulations, according to a press release from Sheriff Keith Royal.

The deputies also conducted a shoulder-tap operation, along with general enforcement. There were a total of 10 violations ranging from infractions to felonies; six people were issued citations and two people were arrested. The charges included possession of a controlled substance, purchasing alcoholic beverages for minors, drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. The deputies also helped in locating a runaway juvenile who was with one of the subjects who was arrested on suspicion of purchasing alcohol for the minor decoy.

The Decoy Shoulder Tap Program is an enforcement program that ABC and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office use to detect and deter shoulder-tap activity. During the program, a minor decoy, under the direct supervision of law enforcement officers, solicits adults outside ABC-licensed stores to buy the minor decoy alcohol. Any person seen furnishing alcohol to the minor decoy is arrested (either cited or booked) for furnishing alcohol to a minor (a violation of Section 25658(a) Business and Professions Code).

The goals of the program are to reduce underage consumption of and access to alcoholic beverages by deterring adults from furnishing to them outside of licensed premises; expand the involvement of local law enforcement in enforcing underage drinking laws; and raise public awareness about the problem.