PASO ROBLES- The Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles is an annual event filled with rides, fun, food and alcohol. The 12-day run is something California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputies, not only monitor, they actively deploy an underage decoy to be sure alcohol is not being sold to those under-21.
So what did they find? On July 20-31, 2016, agents and deputies cited 37 people for alcohol related violations, plus one vendor for selling alcohol to someone under the age of 21. Among the 37 cited, 31 were minors in possession of alcohol, four were suspected of furnishing alcohol to someone under 21, and three people under-21 were cited for being in possession of a fake I-D for purposes of acquiring alcoholic beverages.
"There is a bigger picture here than just a cup of beer," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Statistics show that the under-21 set has a higher rate of DUI related fatalities than the rest of the general adult public. Efforts such as the one at the Mid-State Fair help to keep our young people, and those who might encounter them out on the road, safe from harm. Underage drinking also leads to fights, sexual assaults, dangerous driving and risky behavior."
The vendor cited for the illegal sale of an alcoholic beverage to a minor was licensee Big Bubba's Bad BBQ. Licensee servers with alcohol sales violations are issued a Notice to Appear in court and prosecuted through the District Attorney's Office. ABC agents and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputies will continue their joint enforcement efforts throughout the county throughout the year, that includes sending decoys into stores and bars to attempt to purchase alcohol, and using decoys to ask members of the public to buy them alcohol.
"When asked, just say no," said Barcelona. "You may be saving a life."