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News Release

Tuesday, November 10, 1998

Media Relations

Shoulder Tap Program

LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
Tuesday, November 10, 1998

LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT TO INITIATE "SHOULDER TAP" PROGRAM

Within the next two months, the Los Angeles Police Department "OPERATION ABC" will initiate the "SHOULDER TAP" program in which minor decoys will be tapping on the shoulders and asking adults to buy them alcohol. The Shoulder Tap program will monitor adults who buy alcohol for underage minors.

The Shoulder Tap Program's primary objective is to educate the public about the problems associated with furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors and the consequences of committing such a violation.

Under newly enacted legislation, the minimum penalty for furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor is a $1,000 fine and not less than 24-32 hours of community service.

The Decoy Shoulder Tap Program is an enforcement program utilized by ABC and local law enforcement agencies to use underage decoys, under the direct supervision of law enforcement officers, to solicit strangers in front of off-sale premises, and request the adults to purchase and furnish them with alcoholic beverages. Persons observed furnishing alcoholic beverages to underage minors are arrested (either cited or booked) for furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor, 25658(a) Business & Professions code.

The Decoy Shoulder Tap enforcement program's goal is to supplement the Minor Decoy Program, in reducing an underage minor's ability in obtaining alcoholic beverages at the "point of sale," off-sale licensed premises. The Decoy Shoulder Tap Program can be an effective tool to compliment "OPERATION ABC" enforcement and educational training programs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data indicates the alcohol involved fatality rate for drivers, under 21 years of age is approximately twice that of the drivers over 21 years of age.

For additional information, contact Organized Crime and Vice Division, "Operation ABC" personnel at (213) 893-8113.


For Release 2:40 am PST
November 10, 1998