SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department revealed that detectives conducted a Minor Decoy Operation on August 9. During the operation, a minor who was supervised by department agents tried to buy alcohol from 6 retailers in Santa Monica. Clerks at PAVILIONS, located at 820 Lincoln Blvd., and CVS located at 500 Wilshire Blvd. were cited for selling alcohol to a minor.
As a result, individuals will face a minimum fine of $250, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first time violation. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Department (ABC) will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business where alcohol was sold to a minor. This includes a fine, a suspension of the license, or the permanent revocation of the license.
According to a press release, ABC is conducting the compliance checks statewide to decrease the availability of alcohol to minors. Stats have details individuals under 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.
“Minor Decoy operations hold accountable those who sell alcohol to minors,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “Keeping alcohol away from youth is a priority.”
Minor Decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement in California since the 1980s, where 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 dropped in some cities as low as 10 percent or lower. 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.
Funding for the program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
ABC encourages licensees to sign up for ABC’s Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) training free of charge. Licensees and their employees can take the training course online or in-person during a classroom setting.
To learn more about ABC enforcement and prevention programs that help increase public safety visit: Enforcement programs and Prevention programs. ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.