Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

Local Police Solicit Adults to Buy Beer for Underage Kids. No, Seriously.

"UnderAge Decoy: Shoulder Tap Operation" means a girl or boy might ask you to buy beer.


September 23, 2016

As any Lyft or Uber driver knows, drinking (and drugs) are pervasive among students of all ages in Santa Monica. This is from personal observation. I mean that a significant percentage of underage students at santa monica high school, and probably Santa Monica College, drink, get drunk, have drinking problems. It impacts them, their families and friends, and others. Something does need to be done about it.

Lt. Saul Rodriquez, Public Information Officer from the Santa Monica Police Department, says that the SMPD has conducted an "UnderAge Decoy: Shoulder Tap Operation". They hired an actor who was under the age of 21, to solicit adults walking into local liquor stores. "Please sir, can I have you buy me some beer?" The idea was to "reduce teenage substance abuse and enhance community welfare, by reducing underage drinking..

"The decoy remained outside of three establishments and solicited 16 adult patrons to act as proxies to purchase an alcoholic beverage on their behalf. During the operation, one misdemeanor citation for furnishing a minor with alcohol was issued."

This operation 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.

So don't buy booze for kids, K?

The drinking age in California is 21. The California Lower Drinking Age to 18 Initiative (2016) The Lower Drinking Age to 18 Initiative (#15-0054) was not put on the November 8, 2016 ballot as an initiated state statute in California. The measure would have lowered the minimum drinking age in California from 21 to 18 years of age.

If I may put in my 2 cents: The SMPD could hang out in front of liquor stores every day writing misdemeanor citations to adults who buy booze for kids. It wouldn't solve the problem. That would have to be solved by education, but teaching the kids that liqor is not for them. Oh and another comment: In France, which does not have a drinking age, the underage drinking problem is much less, because wine is not forbidden fruit. Hence it has much less prestige. JMHO.


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