Home » Over 400 Arrested in California’s Largest Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation
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Over 400 Arrested in California’s Largest Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation

The Sacramento Police Department, in conjunction with Alcohol Beverage Control, participated in the largest Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation ever.

On Friday, March 16, 2012, The Sacramento Police Department joined forces with investigators from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in an effort to arrest adults who buy alcohol for minors. Over 90 law enforcement agencies took part in the largest Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation ever assembled in California.

Our local task force investigated 12 random locations within Sacramento. Eleven individuals were cited for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors and one subject was arrested for an outstanding felony warrant. The operation was conducted statewide for the first time ever and resulted in over 400 arrests.

The Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation can lead to the arrest of adults who purchases alcohol for people less than 21 years of age. 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, Transportation and Housing Agency.

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