By Miriam Raftery
March 12, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Agents from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the El Cajon Police Department arrested five suspects in El Cajon on March 10th for ABC violations, including three who furnished alcoholic beverages to minors.
El Cajon Police and ABC Agents conducted a program called a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation which targets adults who purchase alcohol for people younger than 21 years of age. Under the program, a minor under direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol.
If the adults agree to purchase alcohol for the minor, agents then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors, who statistically have a higher rate of drunk driving crashes than adults, according to Lieutenant Stephen Kirk with the El Cajon Police Department.
“Studies also show the combination of alcohol and youth tends to increase criminal conduct,” he says, adding, “According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise their health, and result in unintentional injury and death.”
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) through the department’s Grant Assistance Program.