Five adults who purchased alcohol for minors have been cited during the past two weeks as part of Elk Grove Police Department decoy operations.
The operations were carried out the by department’s problem oriented policing unit in an effort to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors, according to a department news release. Police cite statistics showing that young people younger than 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.
Decoy shoulder tap and minor decoy operations were conducted April 17 and 24. The decoy shoulder tap operation targets adults who purchase alcohol for people younger than 21. A minor, under the direct supervision of a peace officer, stands outside a liquor or convenience store and asks patrons to buy alcohol for him or her. The minor indicates in some way that he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol. If the adult agrees to purchase alcohol for the minor, officers arrest and cite the individual for purchasing alcohol for a minor. The penalty for the offense, police said, is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
The minor decoy operation involves minors, also working under direct supervision of officers, who attempt to purchase alcohol from retail licensees in the city. During the two-week operation, eight local licensees were contacted and all were found to be in compliance, with none selling to the minor.
Licensees who sell to minors face a minimum fine of $250 and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation, police said. In addition, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will take administrative action against the business’ alcoholic beverage license. The action may include a fine, suspension of the license, or permanent revocation of the license.
Police said the problem oriented policing unit will conduct additional operations throughout the year.
Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.