Los Angeles Police Department Operation ABC NR10257rh

May 14, 2010

2010 Safe & Sober Graduation Operation

Los Angeles:  Detective Support and Vice Division (DSVD), Operation ABC, with the assistance of Area Vice Unit personnel will initiate the 12th annual Safe & Sober Graduation Operation during the month of June 2010.  This project is designed to curtail the accessibility of alcoholic beverages and promote “safe and sober” graduations throughout the 89 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high schools.  Between June 16 and July 1, 2010, an estimated 28,000 students will graduate from LAUSD high schools.  Based on past events, it is anticipated that many of these students will be celebrating this significant event in their young lives.  However, a number of them 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 a series of minor decoy and decoy shoulder tap operations coinciding with high school graduations in their respective areas.  

Beginning June 1, 2010, Area Vice Units will conduct minor decoy and decoy shoulder tap operations at licensed Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) locations in the proximity of LAUSD high schools.  On the weekend of June 19-20, 2010, Area Vice Units will be on maximum deployment and focus specifically on alcohol-related crime issues involving underage minors attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages via the minor decoy and decoy shoulder tap operations.  These 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.

Operation ABC personnel are releasing this media advisory to alert those individuals likely to furnish alcoholic beverages to under-aged individuals, that the LAPD will be conducting undercover operations and will aggressively 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 2009 Safe & Sober Graduation Operation resulted in the solicitation of 737 adults, with 76 violations.  Statistically, 90 percent of all adults approached refused the minor decoys’ request for alcohol.  Additionally, 441 licensed ABC locations within close proximity of local high schools and colleges were inspected via the minor decoy program, which resulted in 82 clerks being cited for selling alcoholic beverages to underage individuals (representing an 81 percent compliance rate).  Individuals 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 scheduled throughout the summer on a Citywide basis in order to curtail the accessibility of alcoholic beverages to minors and reduce alcohol-related crimes.

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