California Alcoholic Beverage Control, Visalia Police Department ABC cite two businesses for selling alcohol to minors through decoy program
VISALIA – California Alcoholic Beverage Control and Visalia Police Department ABC, held an underage decoy operation on 15 retail licensees throughout town.
On April 15, agents of the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Visalia Police Department ABC officers cited two clerks for selling alcohol to minors. The actions were the result of a minor decoy operation in which minors under the direct supervision of department agents attempted to purchase alcohol from 15 retail licensees in the city of Visalia.
“Minor Decoy operations hold accountable those who sell alcohol to minors,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “Keeping alcohol away from youth is a priority.”
Those who sold to the minor will face a minimum fine of $250, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation. In addition, ABC may take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business where alcohol was sold to a minor. That may include a fine, a suspension of the license, or the permanent revocation of the license.
ABC is conducting compliance checks statewide to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunk driving fatalities than the general adult population. Minor Decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state since the 1980’s. When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments selling to minors was as high as 40-50%. When conducted on a routine basis, the rate has dropped in some cities as low as 10% or even below.
In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees are complying with the law. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
ABC encourages licensees to sign up for ABC’s Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) training free of charge. Licensees and their employees can take the training online. They can also sign up for training in person in a classroom setting. To learn more about ABC enforcement and prevention programs that help increase public safety visit https://www.abc.ca.gov/prevention/ and https://www.abc.ca.gov/enforcement/.
On April 16, at 12:41 p.m., officers responded to north Church Street and northeast 1st Avenue regarding an attempted carjacking. The victim said three juveniles approached him while he sat in his vehicle and demanded his keys. The victim was assaulted by one of the juveniles and his vehicle keys were removed from his possession by force. The juveniles then fled on foot towards Court Street. Officers later located the juvenile who assaulted the victim and took his keys. The two other juveniles were not located. The juvenile was booked into the Tulare County Juvenile Detention Facility. The victim reported minor injuries from the incident.
On April 16, at 2:58 p.m., officers responded to the 8000 block of west Riggin Avenue for an injury traffic collision. Upon arrival, officers learned that a male juvenile riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) was struck by a Chevrolet truck. The juvenile was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Visalia Police Department Traffic Unit was asked to investigate the collision. The driver of the Chevrolet truck is cooperating with the investigation. Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor. The Traffic Unit is still investigating the collision. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Traffic Unit at 559-713-4237.