On Friday August 26, 2011, the Santa Cruz Police Department conducted an undercover minor decoy sting at various alcohol outlets in the city. The program tests stores and restaurants for compliance with State alcohol sales laws and specifically to see if they will sell alcohol to an actual minor who is working with undercover officers at the time.
Several of the businesses targeted in this sting were identified as locations where teens believed they could purchase alcohol. The list was compiled in an anonymous survey of teens by the Santa Cruz County Alcohol and Drug Program. The police department completed compliance checks on 18 businesses in the city of Santa Cruz. Six of the businesses sold to the minor decoy.
The businesses that SOLD to the decoy are:
Costco Wholesale, 220 Sylvania Street
7-11, 602 Laurel Street
Buffalo Bell, 107 Leonard Street
Taqueria Vallarta, 608 Soquel Ave
Taqueria Santa Cruz, 1002 Soquel Ave
Taqueria Agave, 1836 Soquel Ave
The businesses that did NOT sell to the decoy are:
Parish Pub, 841 Almar
Mission Liquors, 2335 Mission St
Valero 2202, Mission St
Valero 1319, Ocean St
Hernandez Market, 525 Laurel St
Coasters Bar & Grill (Boardwalk Bowl), 115 Cliff St
Days Market, 526 Seabright Ave
Safeway, 117 Morrissey Blvd
Santa Cruz Market, 214 California Ave
La Esperanza Market, 1204 Mission St
CVS, 600 Front St
Taqueria Vallarta, 1221 Mission St
In June 2011, the Santa Cruz Police Department received a $45,000 grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for education, prevention and suppression activities. The police department will continue to conduct compliance checks of alcohol outlets throughout the next 12 months as part of a strategy to minimize underage drinking and the availability of alcohol to minors. Clerks that sell to the minor decoys are confronted by officers at the time of sale, and issued a citation for a violation of 25658(a) Business & Profession – Sales of Alcohol to a Minor. This violation has a base Bail amount of $3,400. Additionally, the store or restaurant faces administrative action from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.