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News Release

Monday, January 26, 2004

Media Relations

Decoy Operation Targeting Solicitation to Minors A Success

"Decoy Operation Targeting Solicitation to Minors A Success"


Los Angeles- On Friday, January 23, 2004, Central Area Vice conducted a "Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation". This program is intended to prevent and deter the sales and furnishing of alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age. The vice unit was assisted by an 18 year-old male from the community as a decoy. The decoy approached the patrons as they entered the store and informed them that he was only 18 years old. He then asked these patrons if they would buy him a beer.

The vice unit used this operation in front of five separate establishments. The decoy approached a total of 29 individuals. Twenty-two of these adults refused to assist the minor and walked away from him. However, the remaining seven patrons purchased and provided an alcoholic beverage to the minor and were arrested and issued a citation. The violators can face a fine of $1,000.00, probation and/or community service.

This program is intended to deter the sales and furnishing of alcoholic beverages to minors. It goes hand in hand with the "Minor Decoy Program" that tests the licensees and their employees who work as clerks or cashiers at ABC licensed establishments. Studies conducted by major universities have revealed that 46 percent of minors who drink alcoholic beverages obtain the beer or liquor by soliciting adults outside of ABC licensed establishments.

The Los Angeles Police Department continuously uses these programs as a preventive measure against under aged drinking. The Police Department tries to educate the public regarding these programs through the media and through their educational programs such as the Standardized Training for Alcohol Retailers, which is funded by a grant from ABC.

If there are any questions regarding these programs, you can contact Sergeant Rafael Ramirez, at Operation ABC, Organized Crime and Vice Division, at 213-473-7624.

This news release was prepared by Public Information Officer Adriana N. Sanchez, Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.