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News Release

Friday, May 30, 2003

Media Relations

2003 Safe and Sober Graduation Operation

Los Angeles: On April 27, 2003, Organized Crime and Vice Division's (OCVD), Operation ABC, with the assistance of Area vice unit personnel announced the sixth 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 28,000 students will graduate from LAUSD high schools between June 18 and June 30. 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.

To reduce the availability of alcoholic beverages to under-aged individuals and thereby save lives, beginning June 1, OCVD will assist Area vice units to conduct a series 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.

Surveys conducted by major universities indicate that approximately 75% of high school seniors have consumed an alcoholic beverage in the past six months. Studies indicate that 46% of these students obtained the alcoholic beverage by soliciting adults outside of markets and liquor stores. Shoulder Tap Operations are specifically designed to curtail this type of activity.

Last year’s Safe & Sober Graduation Operation resulted in the solicitation of 325 adults, with 65 violations obtained. Statistically, 80% of all adults approached refused the minor decoys’ request for alcohol. Additionally, 285 licensed ABC locations within close proximity of local high schools and colleges were inspected via the minor decoy program, which resulted in 62 clerks being cited for selling alcoholic beverages to under-aged individuals. 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 City-wide basis to continue to curtail the accessibility of alcoholic beverages to minors and reduce alcohol-related crimes.

For additional information please contact Sergeant Steve Moore or Detective Rick McElroy, Organized Crime and Vice Division, Operation ABC, at 213-473-7623.

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