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Shoulder Tap Op Nets Four Arrests
Sheriff’s deputies made four arrests during a Friday, Jan. 22 ‘shoulder tap’ operation utilizing underage decoys attempting to get people to purchase alcohol for them. Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Photo

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office arrested four suspects on Friday, Jan. 22 for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors during a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation conducted in the general vicinity of Riverbank.

The program holds accountable any adults who purchase alcohol for people under 21 years of age. Through the decoy program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer stands outside a liquor or convenience store and asks patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way 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. Statistics show they generally have a higher rate of drunken driving crashes than adults.

According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise health, and result in unintentional injury and death.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

ABC protects communities through education, prevention, and enforcement programs designed to increase compliance with California’s alcoholic beverage laws.

ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.