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05/24/2021 5:45 PM

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The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department joined forces with hundreds of law enforcement agencies for a Shoulder Tap operation across California on Saturday, May 22.

Sheriff’s Deputies and Agents with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) conducted the sweep from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Encinitas and Solana Beach.

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For photos of the Shoulder Tap operation, follow us on Twitter:  @SDSheriff.

The Shoulder Tap Program is an enforcement program that ABC and local law enforcement agencies use to detect and deter shoulder tap activity.  During the operation, a minor decoy, under the direct supervision of law enforcement officers, solicits adults outside ABC licensed stores to buy the minor alcohol.  The decoy indicates that he or she is a minor and cannot purchase alcohol.  Undercover deputies and ABC agents wait nearby, ready to arrest people who buy or sell alcohol for the teens.

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Any person seen furnishing alcohol to the minor decoy is arrested (either cited or booked) for furnishing alcohol to a minor (a misdemeanor violation of Section 25658(a) Business and Professions Code). 

During this operation, decoys visited eight stores and made 27 contacts in Encinitas and Solana Beach.  Saturday’s operation resulted in a total of four citations for furnishing alcohol to a minor. 

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Buying or providing alcohol to someone under 21 is against the law in California.  If you are convicted, you could face up to six months in jail, a minimum fine of $1,000 and 24 hours of community service.

The goal of the Shoulder Tap operation is to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors, as well as preventing impaired driving crashes by arresting/citing adults who furnish alcohol to minors. 

This operation is part of a $97,500 grant from ABC.  The money will be used to fight alcohol-related crimes and educate ABC-licensed businesses to make communities safer.  This grant will continue to fund operations through June 2021.                   


This press release was produced by San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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