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Three cited buying alcohol for minors in eight-hour ‘shoulder tap’ sting operation
beer buy

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, under a grant funded through the California State Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, conducted a “Shoulder Tap” operation.

A “shoulder tap” operation is designed to discourage adults from purchasing or furnishing alcohol for minors.

On July 12 Stanislaus County Sheriff Deputies, using under age Sheriff’s explorers as decoys conducted a “shoulder tap” operation on the west side of the county in the areas of Newman, Patterson and Westley.

During the eight-hour operation the decoy’s contacted 25 people at eight ABC licensed businesses. Three adults purchased alcohol for the decoys and received citations for furnishing alcohol to minors. They will be scheduled to appear in Stanislaus County Superior Court to answer to the misdemeanor charge in violation of the state Business and professions Code, specifically furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Deputy Patrick McCulloch said the decoys stood in front of businesses selling alcohol, explaining to adults that they are under the age of 21 and wanting to buy booze. The decoys are wired and being inconspicuously watched by nearby deputies. A citation is made as soon as the alcohol is supplied to the minor.

“It’s intended to be a deterrent for adults and keep alcohol out of the hands of underage kids,” said Deputy McCulloch. “I’ve run into people, with all different types of attitudes. One man told me he knows what it was like to be young and couldn’t purchase it so he purchased it for them. He didn’t think they were doing anything serious.”

The operations will continue until the end of August to expend the rest of the grant which paid for the program. The 2018-19 grant was issued to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“We’re going to try to make our way around the entire county with shoulder tap program,” he added.