SELMA – A Selma man, Orosi woman and Selma business have been cited for providing alcohol to minors during the Selma Police Department’s latest Shoulder Tap Decoy Operation, the department reported Aug. 5
The operation involves minors who work under the direct supervision of Selma Police detectives where they attempt to purchase alcohol from retail licensees in Selma. The operation took place Aug. 2.
A clerk at La Estrella Market # 1 was cited, as was William Bitler, of Selma, and Micaela Morales, of Orosi.
Selma Police detectives also conducted six ABC IMPACT checks at various Selma establishments. All six had minor correctable violations pertaining alcohol sales. The business owners were issued verbal warnings with instructions to comply with ABC laws. Failure to comply could result in fines and/or loss of ABC License.
During the course of the operation, officers and detectives also arrested an individual for two Fresno County misdemeanor warrants for DUI and a second individual for being in violation of a domestic violence restraining order violation.
Minor decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state since the 1980’s. When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments selling to minors was as high as 40 to 50 percent. When conducted on a routine basis, the rate has dropped in some cities as low as 10 percent or even below.
According to the SPD press release, anyone who is found guilty of selling or purchasing alcohol for minors faces a minimum fine of $250 and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation. In addition, the state Alcohol Beverage Control Department will take administrative action against the alcoholic license of the business where the alcohol was sold to a minor. This may include a fine, a suspension or the permanent revocation of the license.
ABC is conducting the compliance checks statewide to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.
In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees are complying with the law.
This project is part of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Minor Decoy/Shoulder Tap Grant Project, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.