Mar 14, 2022

Over 170 Cited in a Statewide Underage Drinking Enforcement Operation

ABC and nearly 50 law enforcement agencies team up to protect youth

California – Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and officers from nearly 50 local police and sheriff’s departments cited more than 170 individuals during Operation Shoulder Tap 2022, a statewide underage drinking enforcement operation designed to create awareness about the dangers of underage drinking and keep communities safe.

One goal of the operation is to demonstrate the serious consequences for adults that buy alcohol for minors. “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 law enforcement agencies spotlights underage drinking prevention, increases public safety for communities, and boosts protections for California’s youth.”

The operation resulted in citations for 170 individuals who allegedly furnished alcoholic beverages to minors. At least eight other individuals were cited for open containers, public drunkenness, or taken into custody for various crimes or outstanding warrants. The operation keeps communities safe by holding individuals accountable for harmful, illegal activities.

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 cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 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 ABC 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’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.

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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