Crime - Sacto 911

Clerks at South Lake Tahoe businesses cited for selling alcohol to minors

Clerks at three South Lake Tahoe businesses were cited for selling alcohol to minors during a recent police decoy operation.

During the minor decoy operation conducted Saturday, minors under the direct supervision of officers, attempted to purchase alcohol from licensees in the city. Of the four businesses visited, three sold to the minor decoy, according to a South Lake Tahoe Police Department news release. Cited were a 24-year-old female employee at Beverages and More, 961 Emerald Bay Road; a 21-year-old female employee at Safeway, 1020 Johnson Blvd; and a 35-year-old female employee at CVS Pharmacy, 3471 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

Those who sold to a minor face a minimum fine of $250 and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation, police said. In addition, the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will take administrative action against the business’ alcoholic beverage license. This may include a fine, or the suspension or permanent revocation of the license.

Minor decoy operations are part of an effort to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. Such operations have been conducted by local law enforcement agencies statewide since the 1980s. When they first began, police said, the violation rate of retail establishments selling to minors was as high as 50 percent. When conducted on a routine basis, they said, the rate has dropped in some cities to 10 percent or less.

The program is part of the Department Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Minor Decoy/Shoulder Tap Grant Project, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.