Undercover sting nails adults purchasing alcohol for minors

by Carley Dryden
Published January 15, 2009

Three Manhattan Beach residents were cited for furnishing alcohol to minors and two were arrested on warrants during a “shoulder tap” sting on Jan. 8.
The sting was conducted by the cities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach, who received an $85,000 grant from the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to help deter underage alcohol possession and reduce alcohol-related crimes, said Sgt. Chris Vargas.
On Jan. 8, 149 adults were asked by minor decoys to purchase alcohol for them. Eight people made a purchase and provided alcohol to the decoys. Aside from the three in Manhattan, two in Hermosa and three in Redondo were also cited.
The Decoy Shoulder Tap Program is an ABC enforcement program that police use to detect and deter alcohol sales to minors, Vargas said. Under direct supervision of law enforcement officers, minor decoys solicit adults outside ABC licensed stores to buy them alcohol. Any person who complies is either arrested or cited. The goal of the shoulder tap program is to reduce underage alcohol consumption by deterring adults from .
With the grant funds, the cities, in conjunction with ABC, will provide training to ABC licensed establishments, conduct briefing training to patrol officers and conduct inspections and string operations to ensure licensed stores are abiding by state laws and operating permits, Vargas said.
“(The grant) will enhance the safety of our citizens and protect the quality of life that exists in our communities,” Vargas said. The grant operational period extends to June 30, 2009.
Manhattan Beach has 123 bars, restaurants and retail stores licensed to sell alcohol. Hermosa Beach has 99 and Redondo Beach has 208. ER