SMPD Decoy Operation Catches Clerk Selling Alcohol To Minor

June 2, 2023 ·

SMPD Decoy Operation Catches Clerk Selling Alcohol To Minor

SANTA MONICA—One Santa Monica business was cited for selling alcohol to a minor on May 5 after the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) conducted a minor decoy operation. 

Minors supervised by ABC agents attempted to purchase alcohol from eight businesses. Those who sold the alcohol to the minor face a minimum fine of $250 and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation. ABC will also take action on the business’s alcoholic beverage license, which may include a fine, suspension of the license or permanent revocation of the license.

The name of the business that sold the alcohol to the minor is not available at this time.

The minor decoy operation comes as department officials say statistics show that younger people, under the age of 21, have a higher rate of drunk driving fatalities than the general adult population. 

According to the most recent California Office of Traffic Safety data, from 2016 to 2020, Santa Monica saw 10 alcohol-involved crashes occur in people under 21. In Los Angeles County, there were 1,487 alcohol-involved crashes in minors during the same time frame.

To reduce the availability of alcohol to minors, ABC is conducting statewide compliance checks with businesses that sell alcohol.

“Minor Decoy operations hold accountable those who sell alcohol to minors,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “Keeping alcohol away from youth is a priority.”

By Paige Strickland

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