12 People Arrested for Buying Alcohol for a Minor in CoCo County

April 15, 2014 10:00 am · 34 comments


The Vice Unit of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff has been conducting ongoing operations at establishments that sell alcohol in the unincorporated part of the county.

Detectives conducted two types of operations: A Minor Decoy Program where an underage decoy enters a bar, restaurant or store and attempts to buy alcohol, and a Shoulder Tap Operation where a minor decoy stands outside of a liquor store or market and asks adults to purchase alcohol for them.

During the operation, the minor is under the direct supervision of law enforcement officers.

Since March, Detectives have conducted five operations visiting over 100 establishments throughout the county. 12 people were arrested and cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor. One person was arrested for having an outstanding arrest warrant. In addition, decoys were sent in to 33 establishments to try to buy alcohol. None of those businesses sold alcohol to the decoy.

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. Those who sell alcohol to a minor face a minimum fine of $250 or community service and possible loss of their license.

This project is part of the California 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.

photo credit: Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

TeamUSA April 15, 2014 at 10:17 AM

If they’re old enough to go fight in a war, they’re old enough to have a beer.

joe April 15, 2014 at 10:22 AM

What a waste of money

Noj April 15, 2014 at 10:29 AM

How about a month long sting operation at the Concord BART parking structure?

The Mamba April 15, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Impressed than none of the 33 liquor stores sold to minors, and still don’t understand why any adult would buy for a kid. What’s your upside?

Suzie April 15, 2014 at 10:39 AM

What kind of crap is this, arrest these fool and continue to waste more taxpayer dollars!

Jackson Hammer April 15, 2014 at 10:55 AM

I agree with TeamUSA. At 18 you can vote, buy guns, and go to war and kill people but you have to be 21 to consume a beverage. Lunacy.

Cowellian April 15, 2014 at 11:24 AM

We’ve spent a lot of time here talking about what the legal drinking age should be, but that’s not the point here. If you’re foolish enough to sell alcohol to someone under the legal age, or buy alcohol for someone under the legal age, it’s all on you if you get caught.

Justin April 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I’m with #3 Noj.

How about policing the areas with clear crime issues a little better? Stolen cars are up this year (as per yesterday’s stats). A lot of them at the BART station.

Vandy April 15, 2014 at 11:38 AM

This is a waste of resources. It would be much better to put law enforcement in the BART station parking lots. Almost 2000 cars are parked daily in North Concord BART station. Crimes are committed there with little or no police presence. I would rather have a safer BART experience than bust some adults for helping 20 year olds get beer.

I say... April 15, 2014 at 11:56 AM

instead of lowering the drinking age, lets make
21 the legal min. age limit to join the military.
The posters here are the first to place blame
when alcohol( a drug) is involved in a collision
involving anyone let alone a teen.
Wasting money you say, but let the government
waste trillions of our dollars on pointless overseas
wars. Your values are misplaced and your
arguements are preposterous .

Anon April 15, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Alcohol is not an issue??
Are you nuts??
Tell that to all the people who were killed by drunk drivers.
Not many people have self control

If a kid approaches you to buy alcohol April 15, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Say No and Leave Immediately. He’s either a cop, or he will vandalize your car while you’re in the store.

Dorothy April 15, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Hiding the faces of the law or the ones willing to get alcohol for miners?

@11 April 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM

In those cases, DUI is the issue, not alcohol. I’ll bet you’re one of those people who blame guns for murder.

Guy wearing a helmet with a light on it April 15, 2014 at 1:08 PM

#13, since when do I need someone to buy alcohol for me? Well, back to looking for precious metals deep beneath the Earth’s surface…

concordian April 15, 2014 at 1:16 PM

WHAT A WASTE OF TIME AND $… and what a waste of alcohol

anon April 15, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Decoy looks like He is bullying / intimidating these people into entrapment.
#W A S T E

femshep April 15, 2014 at 2:40 PM

@Cowellian #7 – It’s common sense that if you break a law, you run the risk of getting caught and it’s on you for making that choice. But why would that be the point that matters in this situation? It’s a much more interesting point that people are willing to violate this law because they believe that the legal drinking age is too high. I’m sure the minor decoy used in this operation was not a 7 year old kid. It was someone who looked 18 years old and people were probably willing to give them alcohol because of the point being discussed here. Is it really better for people to limit their comments to, “well that’s what you get when you break the law,” without anyone mentioning the more important and controversial underlying issue?

Well.... April 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I wish they would do these things without letting the public know.

Yesterday was at the gas station, someone in line before me tried to buy beer. Cashier asked for ID which of course, the person didn’t have. Cashier said “I can’t sell to you. There’s a big bust ring going on right now. Sorry.”

So if there wasn’t a bust ring, she might have let it go and sold the beer?

in case nobody remembers April 15, 2014 at 3:27 PM

We lowered the age of legal adulthood from 21 to 18 because we were sending 18, 19, and 20 year olds to ‘Nam, and they couldn’t vote!

Cowellian April 15, 2014 at 3:34 PM

At the risk of agitating the MADD folks, I’ll admit that I’m one of those who think the legal age should be 18. But even in the states that used to have a legal age of 18, there were still underage kids getting booze. Now, if you get caught buying alcohol for a decoy, it’s going to cost you a lot. But if the underage drinker isn’t a decoy, but gets into some kind of trouble, and the alcohol can be traced back to you, the civil and criminal costs can be enormous.

Always have a reason and an excuse for everything. I think that having the bust ring as an excuse just made it easier for the clerk to say no.

EAST BAY VELO WORKS April 15, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Waste of resources. Entrapment!

anon April 15, 2014 at 4:26 PM

It’s spring break and everyone wants to party.

PM Clayton April 15, 2014 at 5:06 PM

What good can happen if you buy a minor alcohol……………..Duh.

anon April 15, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Entrapment? interesting viewpoint. sounds guilty of something. perhaps they would buy the alcohol. also sounds like they dont have kids. once again blaming the wrong person. if there werent low life scum willing to buy do this then there would be no need to spend money going after them. but then again, today what is bad is good and what is good is bad.

Just me April 15, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Drunk drivers kill people no matter what age they are. Why would you encourage kids under 21 to buy any alcohol at all?

Just me April 15, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Drunk drivers kill people no matter what age they are. Why would you encourage kids under 21 to drink at all?

ChampagneKitty April 15, 2014 at 6:40 PM

to #17 and #21–Why do you think that claiming entrapment would be an effective defense? Please explain.

Rollo Tomasi April 15, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Those who believe this is entrapment need to look up the LEGAL definition of entrapment.

woowwww April 15, 2014 at 11:45 PM

really our money is being wasted tricking guys into buying kids alcohol….rediculous

bs April 16, 2014 at 2:04 AM

That man in the blue is my brother and he told those kids ( HELL NO) so that pic is misleading and should be pulled down!

Was once a kid April 16, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Wow I remember being 15/16 and standing outside of 7 11 to get beer.. I would like point out that I would not as a parent and adult buy alcohol for minor! I was actually approached recently while out with my GRANDMA (82) and some kid asked us as we passed the liquor store on our way to eat lunch. I just laughed at him and shook my head!

.... April 16, 2014 at 10:03 AM

A lot of the ones buying for minors are the same ones that believe it’s ok to give their own kids alcohol. After all if they’re gonna drink, they should do it at home right? I never allowed my kids to illegally drink in my home. Did they drink outside of the home? Yes, but not often and they always called me if they needed a ride. I was more pissed off at the parents that were giving the alcohol to my kids without my permission. If you don’t give a sh*t about the risk of your own kids turning into drunks or getting into a car and risking the lives of others at least respect my wishes and don’t encourage my kids to live by your misguided parenting. You people that are ok with buying for minors clearly have never been affected by a drunk driver murdering a loved one.

Nancy K. April 17, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Good Work! Our next door neighbor’s daughter was just killed this week while driving drunk. She was only 19 years old. According to her Facebook Page she and her friends have been drinking and smoking pot since they were in High School.

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