More than 300 people were either arrested or cited for buying minors alcohol during a state-wide underage drinking enforcement operation Saturday
Seventy police and sheriff’s departments took part in the “Shoulder Tap” operation, conducted by the department of alcohol and beverage control (ABC).
In Madera County, the ABC teamed up with the Madera Police Department to conduct the operation.
Jason Montgomery, supervising agent in charge for the ABC, says the goal is to hold people responsible who are giving alcohol to minors.
The operation is simple: Underage volunteers hang around stores that sell alcohol and will ask customers to purchase it for them. If they say no, the volunteers move along. If they say yes and the purchase and handing over of the alcohol is completed, officers will give them a citation since it is a misdemeanor crime.
In Madera, three people were given citations: Two, for buying the volunteers alcohol and one for the market that sold an underage person alcohol.
The ABC released the operation’s state-wide results Saturday night:
“The operation has resulted so far in citations for 305 individuals who allegedly furnished alcoholic beverages to minors. 13 other individuals have been cited for open containers and 17 others were either cited or taken into custody for various crimes such as outstanding warrants, illegal drugs, public drunkenness or DUI, it included one person who was on parole for murder. The operation has been an effort to build safer and stronger communities by holding individuals accountable for illegal activity that creates harm.”
As for the volunteers, Montgomery says it shows the community, as well as the youth, cares about what’s going on, and feel a responsibility to help the public.
The alcohol that was bought for the minors will be held as evidence for the misdemeanor cases, but once the cases conclude, the alcohol will be destroyed.
The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.