No arrests in police decoy shoulder tap operation
35 adults refused to buy alcohol for minor decoy
On Saturday, June 7, officers from the Paso Robles Police Department conducted a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation designed to help reduce youth access to alcohol. This operation took place between the hours of 3 p.m.-9 p.m. and resulted in no arrests. Thirty-five individuals were contacted near eight different businesses, and none of those individuals agreed to purchase alcohol for the minor decoy.
Police officers conducted this Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation which can lead to the arrest of adults who purchase alcohol for people under 21 years old. Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask 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, officers then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. 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.
This program supports the Police Department’s mission to work with the community to build trust and provide quality service that actively prevents crime, reduces the fear of crime, and promotes safety. This project 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.