Three Clerks Cited During Long Beach Decoy Operation

Grocery Store Beer Cooler

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LONG BEACH (CNS) - Three clerks were cited for selling alcohol to underage individuals during three decoy operations conducted in Long Beach, the Long Beach Police Department announced Wednesday.

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and Long Beach Police Department conducted three minor decoy operations between October 2022 and April 2023, in which people under 21, under the direct supervision of LBPD detectives and ABC agents, attempted to purchase alcohol from 23 retail licensees in Long Beach, police said.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will take administrative action against the businesses whose clerks were cited, which may include a fine, suspension, or permanent revocation of alcoholic beverage license, police said.

The clerks cited face a fine and/or community service for a first violation, police said.

ABC is conducting the compliance checks statewide in an attempt to reduce the availability of alcohol to underage individuals, police said. People under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population, according to statistics cited by the Long Beach Police Department.

Minor decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state since the 1980s.  When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments selling to minors was as high as 40- 50%, but has dropped to 10% or less.

The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1994 that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees are complying with the law.

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