SELMA – Two adults were arrested March 9 after agreeing to buy alcohol for minors during an Alcoholic Beverage Control operation, “Shoulder Tap,” conducted by the Selma Police Department.
Minor decoys contacted 14 adults and asked them to purchase alcohol for them at various alcoholic establishments in Selma, Sgt. Frank Santillan reported.
The Shoulder Tap Program is used to detect and deter shoulder tap activity. During the program, a minor decoy, under the direct supervision of law enforcement officers, solicits adults outside ABC licensed stores to buy the minor decoy alcohol.
California Supreme Court ruled in 1994 that minor decoys could be used by law enforcement to check whether stores were selling alcohol to minors under age 21.
At first, the violation rate was nearly 50 percent. In some cities, almost one out of every two stores failed to check a minor’s age and sold them alcohol.
In 1997 the violation rate had dropped to less than 10 percent in those cities that used the Minor Decoy Program on a regular basis.
Minors then turned to the shoulder tap method of getting alcohol by standing outside of a liquor store or market and asking adults to buy them alcohol. A survey conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department indicated that as many as 46 percent of all minors who attempt to acquire alcohol use this method.
Anyone who does furnish alcohol to the minor decoy is arrested and either cited or booked for furnishing alcohol to a minor.
This project is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.