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News Release

Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Media Relations

2002 Safe & Sober Graduation Operation


Los Angeles: On Saturday, June 1, 2002 Organized Crime and Vice Division (OCVD) "Operation ABC" with the assistance of Area vice unit personnel began the fourth annual Safe & Sober Graduation Operation. This operation is designed to curtail the accessibility of alcoholic beverages and promote "safe and sober" graduations throughout the 94 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high schools. It is estimated that approximately 30,000 students will be graduating from LAUSD high schools between June 11 and June 29. Many of these students will be celebrating this significant event in their young lives and a number of them will be attempting to use alcoholic beverages as a means of enhancing their celebrations.

Starting on June 1, to reduce the availability of alcoholic beverages to minors and thereby save lives, the Los Angeles Police Department will engage in a number of Minor Decoy and Decoy Shoulder Tap Operations at a number of licensed Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) locations in the vicinity of LAUSD high schools. The operations are designed to inhibit the flow of alcoholic beverages at the two primary sources: licensed locations and the parking lots of these locations. During the following weeks, vice unit personnel will continue to conduct similar operations on night’s coinciding with LAUSD high school graduations in their respective areas.

This advisory will serve to alert those individuals likely to furnish alcoholic beverages to minors, that the Department will be conducting undercover operations and will prosecute those individuals who knowingly put alcohol in the hands of a minor. Shoulder Tap Operations, similar to Minor Decoy Operations, involve the soliciting of individuals outside of licensed ABC retail establishments to purchase an alcoholic beverage for a minor. Last year’s Safe & Sober Graduation Operation resulted in the solicitation of 309 adults, with 53 violations obtained. Statistically, 83% of all adults approached refused the minor decoys’ request for alcohol. Those individuals who are convicted of furnishing a minor with an alcoholic beverage face a mandatory $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

Subsequent Decoy Shoulder Tap Operations will be conducted throughout the summer months on a Citywide basis to continue to curtail the accessibility of alcoholic beverages to minors and reduce alcohol-related crimes.

For additional information regarding this operation please contact Detective Rick McElroy, Organized Crime and Vice Division, at 213-473-7633.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.