Placer County law enforcement teams up to fight alcohol-related crimes

Auburn Police, Placer County Sheriff's Office and others issue dozens of citations
By: Staff Report
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Teams from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Roseville, Rocklin and Auburn police departments have issued 27 citations for selling alcohol to minors and 15 citations for furnishing alcohol to minors in a joint effort with the California Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The violations occurred during the past five months. Law enforcement teams have been working with Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents to try to reduce underage drinking and increase compliance with alcoholic beverage laws in communities throughout Placer County.

Authorities have conducted several operations between August and December. The operations have been funded through a grant from the California ABC.

Alcoholic Beverage Control awarded a $99,760 grant to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office through the department’s Grant Assistance Program (GAP). The grant is shared with the Sheriff’s Office, Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn and Lincoln police departments.

Since August, along with the alcohol sales to minors infractions, a citation to a minor for possessing illegal drugs and a citation for an adult who was in possession of illegal drugs were also issued.

Officers conducted minor decoy, shoulder tap decoy and Informed Merchants Preventing Alcohol Crime Tendencies (IMPACT) inspections. Minor decoy operations involve minors who work under the direct supervision of law enforcement. They attempt to purchase alcohol from retail licensees. Those who sell alcohol to a minor face a minimum fine of $250 and the business where the illegal sale occurred may face disciplinary action.

Under a shoulder tap decoy operation, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol. If the adults agree to buy the alcohol for the minor decoy, investigators arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and community service.

The IMPACT program teams ABC agents with local law enforcement who visit licensed establishments. The primary objective is to educate licensees about the various ways they can reduce alcohol-related crimes such as sales to underage and obviously intoxicated persons.

The inspections combine municipal and state law enforcement personnel in a highly visible way. IMPACT teams remind licensees of the responsibilities and accountability associated with the sale of alcoholic beverages. This is accomplished by identifying areas of non-compliance and providing crime prevention information. The focus is to educate rather than to enforce. Even though the teams are prevention oriented, members may take action against any major violations observed during the inspections.

Placer County authorities and the California ABC are trying to reduce youth access to alcohol. Statistics show minors generally have a higher rate of drunken driving crashes than adults. According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise health and result in unintentional injury and death.