City of Arcata
SHOULDER TAP OPERATION IN ARCATA
The Arcata Police Department arrested 6 adults for furnishing alcohol to minors on Friday, March 15. The actions were the result of a statewide Shoulder Tap Operation.
The Shoulder Tap Operation targeted adults who purchased alcohol for people under 21 years of age. The program involves a minor, under the supervision of a peace officer, outside a liquor or convenience store asking patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and is unable to 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 $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
The following subjects were arrested and cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor:
- • Zachariah Smithers, 33, of McKinleyville
- • Jon Jimenez, 23, Cardiff
- • Ludwig Dannhausen, 62, of San Diego
- • Jonathan Smart, 34, of Willow Creek
- • James Burke, 40, of Galt (additionally arrested on a warrant, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property)
- • Travis Russell, 30, of Arcata
The Arcata Police Department is conducting the compliance checks to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.
Minor Decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state since the 1980s. When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments selling to minors was as high as 40 to 50 percent. When conducted on a routine basis, the rate has dropped in some cities as low as 10 percent or even below. In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees are complying with the law.
This project is part of the Department of 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.