SANTA MONICA—Officers from the Santa Monica Police Department’s (SMPD) Vice Unit conducted a minor decoy operation targeting alcohol retail establishments in the Main Street corridor and downtown area on Friday, June 9, according to a press release from Lieutenant Saul Rodriguez, Public Information Officer for the SMPD.
Licensed premises are prohibited from selling alcohol to individuals under the age of 21, per federal law. The sale of alcohol to a minor decoy may result in criminal and administrative sanctions for the employee and the licensee.
As part of the operation, supervised individuals under the age of 20 attempted to purchase alcohol at licensed locations. The minor decoys visited 8 alcohol retail locations within Santa Monica. All establishments denied the minor decoy at each location and followed proper protocol by asking for the decoy’s age and identification and refusing to sell alcohol to those under 21 years old.
The locations that followed responsible sales of alcohol were Fish Enterprise Co. at 174 Kinney; Main St Market at 2916 Main Street; Rick’s Tavern at 2907 Main Street; Surf Liquor at 2522 Main Street; M Street Kitchen at 2000 Main Street; AMF Bayshore Lanes at 234 Pico Blvd.; Cheesecake Factory at 395 Santa Monica Place; and Frank’s Liquor at 115 Broadway Ave.
The Minor Decoy Program has been effective in promoting responsible practices in the sales of alcohol by licensed establishments, reducing substance abuse, and enhancing community welfare by prohibiting underage access to alcohol.
The program 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.