February 15, 2012

Buyers Beware: Underage Alcohol Stings

Buyers Beware:

If you are approached outside a store by an underage person asking you to purchase alcohol for them…Beware!  It is quite possible that “teen” is working undercover with the Santa Cruz Police Department Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) officer.  In addition to refusing the request to buy alcohol, pick up the phone and alert the police to this activity.  If it is not our decoy, we want to know about it! 

Underage drinking is a significant problem in many communities.  Preventing underage access to alcohol is a major goal of the police department’s ABC program.  The Santa Cruz Police Department recently received a grant from the State that will pay for additional officer time to conduct compliance checks of alcohol sellers, and conduct stings such as the minor decoy.  Individuals caught providing alcohol to minors face a citation or jail for a misdemeanor offense.  

Fines are steep starting out with a $200 base fine and additional penalty assessments topping the $600 mark.  Over the past week, three individuals were caught up in the sting and cited for providing alcohol to a minor. 
We’re asking everyone to do their part and help us keep alcohol out of underage hands.