17 Adults Arrested in Contra Costa for Selling Alcohol to Minors

March 5, 2013 13:15 pm · 42 comments

During the month of February 2013, the Special Investigations Unit of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control conducted three decoy operations at establishments that sell alcohol throughout the county.

Detectives conducted two types of operations: Minor Decoy Program where the decoy enters a store and attempts to buy alcohol and Shoulder Tap where the minor decoy stands outside of a liquor store or market and asks adults to buy them alcohol. The minors are supervised by law enforcement.

Any person seen furnishing alcohol to the minor decoy is arrested (cited or booked) for furnishing alcohol to a minor. This is a violation of Section 25658(a) of the Business and Professions Code. Penalties can include fines of up to $1,000, community service and possible revocation of the alcohol license.

During the three operations a total of 44 establishments were visited. 17 adults were arrested for selling alcohol to a minor and four were arrested for buying alcohol for minors. In addition, one was a felony arrest for possession of meth, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of burglary tools.

These operations are 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. More operations are being planned in Contra Costa County.

Dorothy March 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Good, happy to hear about it.

When I had to leave for a week a few years back, my granddaught paid for liquor with her debit card. She was up by Sacramento with friends, none of them 21 or older. She can be real careless about her reciepts so I know where and when she bought it. I think one of the older (nearly 21) kids may have put it on the counter buy it was her debit that paid for it. Too bad I didn’t find it sooner to really get after her about it and way too late to contact the store to let them know they sold it to minors.

Ryan March 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

I feel safer already!

Whaaaat? March 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Idiot criminals with the anything for
a buck mind set!! Seen it at a couple
places near me, mentioned it , and
was basically told to mind my own
B NIS! So now I go two miles outta my
way. Take their license!

WC44 March 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

So we borrow money from China to pay the salary of an adminstrator at the National Highway Traffic Administrator to give more borrowed money to another administrator at the California Office of Traffic Safety who directs money to another administrator at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control who then funds overtime for a Sheriff’s deputy to go out on a sting operation. The deputy then gets an inflated pension, which we can’t afford, from the county based on his overtime wages; all for a ridiculous 21 year age requirement for buying beer. Sounds like a wise investment.

Good March 5, 2013 at 1:57 PM

“Now that’s the way tax dollars
should be spent!”

Quick Shuley March 5, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Tell us this is entrapment.I dare you.

babytruck March 5, 2013 at 2:05 PM

It’s a wise investment if it keeps irresponsible adults from buying liquor for kids who might hurt themselves or others.

Huh? March 5, 2013 at 2:05 PM

@ WC44, WOW!!!!!!

babytruck March 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

By the way WC44, just curious, perhaps it was deleted but did I miss where it was posted that they are being paid over time for this?

anon March 5, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I guess that’s going to stop underage drinking.

b March 5, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I would like to now what stores sold to them

CatWoman March 5, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Look at these irresponsible adults–selling alcohol to minors…..I wonder if they even asked for fake Id’s?.

Colleen March 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Please delete WC44’s comment as it is clearly meant to question law enforcement and their decision making.

Just Sayn March 5, 2013 at 3:02 PM

@anon, c’mon , if it puts a dent in it
that’s enough. Amazing how even an
effective program can’t please you.

Low Down March 5, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Funny how we think these people
are all terrible now. Back when we were
teenagers, We thought they were cool.lol

George March 5, 2013 at 3:26 PM

When I am asked, I tell them it will the cost of the liquor plus 250. When they say ok I tell them that it is $250,000. Would probably need that much for bail and/or a lawyer. They usually go away after that.

what!?!?!?! March 5, 2013 at 3:31 PM

@colleen ?? why would the mayor delete the comment? i hope you were joking. you know theres such a thing as freedom of speech right. big hugo chavez fan were we?? LOOOOOOOOL

The Grant March 5, 2013 at 3:51 PM

When I was younger my parents allowed us to drink alcohol and have parties at the house as long as all car keys were confiscated and accounted for and everyone spent the night…now its a chargeable offense.

They reasoned that alcohol was going to be consumed regardless and would rather it be in a controlled environment.

These puritan laws are stupid and a waste of money. Anybody reckon the cost incurred per bust?

sidenote – in many countries its perfectly legal for teens to drink. It seems kids want to drink more over here (US) because its taboo.

Fed up March 5, 2013 at 3:51 PM

@WC44 –you might feel differently if you had a loved one killed by an underaged drunk driver. Think you should publish the names of those providing alcohol to minors. Perhaps that will make the next idiot think twice before doing the same.

anon March 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Colleen, there is plenty of good reason to question those who enforce government rules utilizing the wealth that they looted from those who produced it. Do you consider it blasphemous to question the government? Many of those who worship the state do. Perhaps you’d feel better if WC44 were burned at the stake after a period of torture and confession.

Original G March 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

“Now that’s the way tax dollars should be spent!”
Completely agree, Assemblywoman Bonilla and Senator DeSaulnier are you paying attention.

Constant Comment March 5, 2013 at 4:04 PM

I remember when I was 18 and some 20 year old asked ME to buy liquor while walking into the liquor store. Set the cash on the counter made both purchases and then decided to sneak out the back door. I was never carded back in the day, but I can’t even buy a beer at Safeway without shouting out my birthdate and I’m a old geiser now.

Joan VanSnark March 5, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Apparently, Colleen is one of those narrow minded people that only want to hear comments and opinions that mirror her own.. Grow up Colleen, people can say whatever they want to say, it doesn’t matter if you like it or not.
You really need to grow up.

Howard K. Mullins III March 5, 2013 at 4:59 PM

17 people of poor character.

Bobby Sands March 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Mr Mayor is there a reason why you chose not to list the names and photos of those adults arrested?

CLAYCORD.com March 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM

@Bobby Sands, They were not released, otherwise I would.

anon March 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM

There was booze and marijuana when I was 16 and there is still no difference 40+ years later. If teens want it, they will get it.

@ The Grant March 5, 2013 at 7:38 PM

“in many countries its perfectly legal for teens to drink. It seems kids want to drink more over here (US) because its taboo.”

Not true. I grew up in the UK and have relatives in Australia, and their drinking age is lower but their consumption of alcohol is through the roof!!! Cigarettes also are also a societal problem, big time. Don’t assume because youth drink earlier that it isn’t a taboo, it becomes a way of life much earlier…….

Informed March 5, 2013 at 7:47 PM

During the operation the young adults are not allowed to lie. That is it! @Catwoman… If the clerk simply asked them their age they would have told the truth. They are not allowed to use fake ID’s.
this process us not about lying. It is the law that clerks check ID’s. If you don’t do your job I’m sure you would be fired….as should these people. However in their mistake they have caused themselves a criminal record, fines and the loss of their job. As well as the store the work for is facing fines and possibly the loss of their liquor license. This is what finds the programs. If they never caught these people the program wouldn’t exsist. Every program I worked with SAMSA on the minors were all very heavily trained and volunteers. The officers were not patrolmen…this was their actual job. The ABC does this type of operation all the time nation wide.
As for the halfwits purchasing alcohol for minors….get a life. Tell the minors to go ask their parents to do that. Most if them live with them anyways! Don’t like the law, change it.
Quit making everything about spending tax dollars. If they didn’t spend them what would they do with them. 🙂

Just Sayn March 5, 2013 at 8:53 PM

@Informed, very well said.

Mr. Bassman March 5, 2013 at 10:11 PM

“If they didn’t spend them what would they do with them.”


jturd March 5, 2013 at 10:30 PM

So….you can go to war and make the decision to take a life. We are not mature enoug to legally have a beer in our own country. Judgement is affected or effective?

EBguy March 5, 2013 at 10:47 PM

@ The Grant,
When you were younger your parents were irresponsible criminals. Providing alcohol to minors has always been a chargeable offense. This is not new.

drinkin with the kids March 6, 2013 at 1:32 AM

Good job!!! Wasting more tax dollars to set up a big sting operation to bust a couple few people who sell beer to minors. And yes it is all done on overtime. These sting operations are all extra and are paid overtime for these cops. They take advantage of our tax dollars and burn as much up in overtime as they can

Crazy Kids! March 6, 2013 at 5:16 AM

My favorite response when a teen asks me to buy alcohol is “sorry, I know your Mom” … sends them running for the hills!

CatWoman March 6, 2013 at 5:47 AM

Really?………….(very sarcastic)

davejavu March 6, 2013 at 6:48 AM

Hundreds of years ago everyone drank beer. Because it wasn’t safe to drink the water.

Travis Bickle March 6, 2013 at 8:14 AM


Care to support your claims regarding overtime?

Mika March 6, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Love to see the stores identified!

Recovering March 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM

When minors ask me for a cigarette, or to buy them cigarettes or alcohol, I tell them that I am not going to risk my freedom for them to drink.

Starfish March 6, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Thank goodness for forward progression. All things in its time.

Scott March 6, 2013 at 3:26 PM


Really!? Censor somebody because they question law enforcement? Are youeeven capable of rational coherent thought?

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