Agents of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) along with the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) have cited seven (7) clerks for selling alcohol to minors between the period of September 2021 to January 2022. The actions were the result of three (3) separate minor decoy operations in which minors, under the direct supervision of Police Department detectives and ABC agents, attempted to purchase alcohol from eighteen (18) retail licensees in the City of Long Beach.
Those who sold to the minor face a fine and/or community service for a first violation. In addition, ABC will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business where alcohol was sold to a minor, which may include a fine, a suspension of the license, or the permanent revocation of the license.
ABC is conducting these 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.
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%. When conducted on a routine basis, the rate has dropped in some cities as low as 10% or even lower.
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.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the ABC through their Grant Assistance Program.
ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.
Original News Release 9/22/21
The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) has been awarded a $97,500 grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to address alcohol-related harm in the community.
“This funding is critically important to keep the youth in our community safe by addressing problem locations that negatively impact the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna.
The grant strengthens local law enforcement efforts by combining the resources of local police departments and ABC. ABC agents have expertise in alcoholic beverage laws and can help communities reduce alcohol-related harm.
“The program has helped improve safety in communities we serve,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “We’ve seen a real difference in the communities where the grant program resources have been invested.”
The grant awarded to the LBPD is one of over 50 awarded in California to local law enforcement agencies through ABC’s Alcohol Policing Partnership (APP).
The APP program was created in 1995 to build partnerships between ABC and local law enforcement agencies. The program is designed to keep alcohol away from minors and bring penalties such as fines, suspensions or revocations against businesses that violate the law and cause harm to the community.
The funds will be used to reduce the number of alcoholic beverage sales to minors, obviously intoxicated patrons, illegal solicitations of alcohol, and other criminal activities such as the sale and possession of illegal drugs.
Since 1995, the APP program has distributed over $40 million in California to local law enforcement to combat alcohol-related harm.
ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency