FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ARCATA POLICE DEPARTMENT CONDUCTS MINOR DECOY OPERATION
The Minor Decoy Operation involves minors who work under the direct supervision of officers, who attempted to purchase alcohol from 13 retail licensees in the City of Arcata.
Those who sold to the minor face a minimum fine of $250, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation. In addition, ABC will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business. That may include a fine, a suspension of the license, or the permanent revocation of the license.
A Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation targets adults who purchase alcohol for people less than 21 years of age. 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 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 $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
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 1980's. 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.
The following location sold alcohol to a minor, and the clerk was issued a citation:
Valley West Village Pantry Restaurant.
The following locations did not sell alcohol to the minor decoys, and the Arcata Police Department appreciated their cooperation in combating underage drinking
Valley West Chevron, 1605 Giuntoli Lane
Valley West Patriot, 1675 Giuntoli Lane
The Liquor Still, 1551 Giuntoli Lane.
Ray's Food Place, 5000 Valley West Blvd.
Murphy's Market, 100 Westwood Center.
Alliance 76, 2205 Alliance Rd.
Greenview Market, 1990 11th St.
Shell Station, 1401 G St.
Fiesta Grill and Catena, 3525 Janes Rd
Round Table Pizza, 5000 Valley West Blvd
Hutchins Market, 1644 G St.
4th St Market, 781 Samoa Blvd