SANTA CLARA – On February 6, 2024, California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents, working with Santa Clara Police officers, arrested three suspects for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors. The arrests were the result of a Shoulder Tap operation in which a person under the age of 21, and under the direct supervision of agents and officers, stands outside a store and asks customers to purchase alcohol for them. The decoy makes it clear that he/she can’t purchase the alcohol because he/she is underage.
“Underage drinking harms our community. Preventing the sale of alcohol to minors will help to increase public safety and make our roads safer,” said Santa Clara Police Chief Pat Nikolai.
An adult who purchases alcohol for the underage person can be arrested and cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
“We conduct these operations to keep alcohol out of the hands of our youth,” said ABC Director Joseph McCullough. “By preventing underage drinking we can increase the quality of life in our communities and reduce DUIs.”
Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a much higher risk of being involved in a crash than older drivers. About 25 percent of fatal crashes involve underage drinking according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).