Modesto Police Department
Media Relations Unit
Office of the Chief of Police
Author: Heather Graves
Modesto, CA – Modesto Police Department cited one clerk for selling alcohol to a minor and one adult was arrested for purchasing a decoy alcohol as he was leaving the parking lot on February 25, 2014. The actions were the result of a minor decoy operation in which minors, under the direct supervision of officers, attempted to purchase alcohol from 16 retail licensees in the City of Modesto.
Those who sold to the minor face a minimum fine of $1,000, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for the 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 permanent revocation of the license.
The Modesto 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.
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