May 24, 2021

Over 150 Cited in a Statewide Underage Drinking Enforcement Operation

ABC and over 40 local law enforcement agencies team up to increase public safety and protect youth

California – Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and officers from over 40 local police and sheriff’s departments cited over 150 individuals during a statewide underage drinking enforcement operation designed to create awareness to the problem of underage drinking, increase public safety and protect California’s youth.

The goal of the operation was to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking and make it clear to any adults that buy alcohol for minors that there are serious consequences. “Unfortunately, thousands of young people die in alcohol-related tragedies every year in this country,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “This collaborative effort among California peace officers creates awareness to underage drinking issues, increases public safety for communities and also boosts protections for California’s young people.”

The operation resulted in citations for 134 individuals who allegedly furnished alcoholic beverages to minors. At least 17 other individuals were either cited for open containers or public drunkenness or taken into custody for various crimes such as outstanding warrants, illegal drugs, or driving under the influence. The operation was an effort to protect youth and build safer and stronger communities by holding individuals accountable for illegal activity that creates harm.

ABC agents and local law enforcement conducted a program called a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation. 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, and 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. Many of the local operations were funded by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control through the Department’s Alcohol Policing Partnership Program and some were funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

ABC protects communities through excellence in education and by administering prevention and enforcement programs designed to increase compliance with California’s alcoholic beverage laws.

ABC’s mission is to provide the highest level of service and public safety through licensing, education and enforcement. ABC has developed programs that help protect communities, prevent alcohol-related harm and potentially save lives, visit ABC’s website to learn more about ABC programs

ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.


Additional information may be obtained by contacting:

Public Information Office
3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834
Phone: (916) 419-2525

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