San Rafael, CA – April 22, 2014. The San Rafael Police Department arrested 8 suspects over the weekend for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors. The operation was conducted on Saturday, April 19th, in both the Downtown and Canal neighborhood of San Rafael.
The San Rafael Police Department conducted a program called a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation which targets adults who purchase alcohol for people less than 21 years of age. Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol.
If the adult agrees to purchase alcohol for the minor, officers then arrest and cite the adult for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. Statistics show they generally have a higher rate of drunken driving crashes than adults. Studies also show the combination of alcohol and youth tends to increase criminal conduct. According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise health, and result in unintentional injury and death.
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.