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News Release

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Media Relations

2011 Safe & Sober Graduation Operation NR11265kr

Opening Weekend Nets 73 Arrests

Los Angeles:  Over the first weekend of the 13th Annual Safe and Sober Graduation Operation, June 10-12, 2011, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Area Vice Units, working with Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), arrested 73 suspects for furnishing alcoholic beverages to underage minors.

The operation involved minor decoy and decoy shoulder tap operations at 235 ABC licensed premises (markets, liquor and convenience stores) in close proximity to high schools.  The project is designed to curtail the accessibility of alcoholic beverages and promote “Safe and Sober” graduations throughout the 91 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high schools.  

Between June 1 and June 30, 2011, an estimated 27,000 students will graduate from LAUSD high schools.  Based on past events, many graduating seniors will be attempting to use alcoholic beverages as a means of enhancing their celebrations.  In an attempt to reduce the availability of alcoholic beverages to underage individuals and thereby save lives, vice units will be conducting minor decoy and decoy shoulder tap operations that will coincide with high school graduations in their respective areas.

Decoy operations are designed to inhibit the flow of alcoholic beverages at the two primary sources: licensed locations and the parking lots of these locations.  Surveys conducted by major universities indicate that approximately 75 percent of high school seniors have consumed an alcoholic beverage in the past six months.  

Studies also indicate that 46 percent of these students will obtain the alcoholic beverage by soliciting adults outside of markets and liquor stores.  Shoulder tap operations are specifically designed to curtail this type of activity. 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.  

This weekend’s Safe & Sober Graduation Operation resulted in the solicitation of 582 adults, on a Citywide basis resulting in 47 violations.  Statistically, 92 percent of all adults approached refused the minor decoys’ request for alcohol.  This is a four percent improvement over the Department’s 2010 operation.  Additionally, 167 licensed ABC locations within close proximity of local high schools and colleges were inspected via the minor decoy program, which resulted in 26 clerks being cited for selling alcoholic beverages to underage individuals (representing an 84 percent compliance rate).  Individuals convicted of furnishing a minor with an alcoholic beverage face a mandatory $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

Additional decoy shoulder tap operations will be scheduled throughout the summer on a Citywide basis in order to continue our efforts at curtailing the accessibility of alcoholic beverages to underage individuals and thereby reducing alcohol-related crimes.

This project is part of the Department of ABC’s Minor Decoy/Shoulder Tap Grant Project, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Safety Administration.  

For additional information please contact Sergeants Lifernando Garcia or Steve Moore, Operation ABC, DSVD, at 213-486-0910.