FRESNO - As we said goodbye to 2018 and hello to the new year, California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office will be doing their part to ensure safety in Fresno County.ABC agents are partnering with the Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office Special Investigations Task Force (SITF) to conduct undercover operations at bars, restaurants and liquor stores throughout the Fresno County to help prevent minors from obtaining alcoholic beverages.
Recent operations in Sanger and Reedley resulted in two businesses and one person being cited for furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor. Businesses are reminded to have policies in place to ID their customers to verify they are of legal drinking age. Additionally, businesses should have their staff participate in an ABC Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) Program. This free training program, available through ABC, teaches employees about serving alcoholic beverages safely, responsibly and legally.
Individuals and businesses caught providing alcoholic beverages to minors face serious consequences. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service. Businesses will also have an administrative hearing with ABC, which could result in fines or suspension of their ABC license. The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office will also be involved and could file a civil case against the licensee for unfair business practices.
“ABC agents conduct undercover operations to ensure clerks, servers and members of the public are not providing alcoholic beverages to minors,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “By conducting shoulder-tap and decoy operations, they are not only educating the public, they are busting those who don’t check IDs, or people who are willing to purchase alcohol for someone under 21.”