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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 8:48 pm | Fog/Mist 51º


Two People Cited for Purchasing Alcohol for Minor During ‘Shoulder Tap’ Sting

As part of a statewide effort to combat underage drinking, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department conducted a Shoulder Tap Operation on Saturday night at nine locations throughout Isla Vista and Goleta.

As a result of the operation, two people were cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor.

In 2014, during this same operation, five people were cited and two were arrested. Statewide, more than 340 citations were issued, which is down from 544 in 2014.

During the six-hour operation, a minor under the age of 21, under the direct supervision of a peace officer, stood outside convenience stores or liquor stores and asked 67 patrons to buy him alcohol. The minor made it clear that he was underage and could not purchase the alcohol by himself.

Two of the adults who were approached were cited for purchasing alcohol for the minor. Of the two people who were cited, one was a 25-year-old resident in Isla Vista and the other was a 51-year-old Goleta resident who was also cited for having an open container.

The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

This is the fourth year the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has participated in the statewide Shoulder Tap Operation, which is funded by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. More than 100 law enforcement agencies participate in the program, which is intended to make communities safer by enforcing alcoholic beverage laws and by raising awareness about the consequences of underage drinking.

According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise health and result in unintentional injury and death. According to California Highway Patrol traffic statistics, in 2013, 136 people 20 years of age or younger were killed in alcohol-related collisions.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department uses grant funding from ABC to battle alcohol related crime in the Isla Vista and Goleta areas, which tend to have a higher percentage of these types of incidents. In addition to conducting operations such as this one, the grant funding is also utilized to educate both on-sale and off-sale establishments with the importance of operating within the restrictions of their ABC licenses.

The ABC’s Grant Assistance Program (GAP) was established in 1995 and during that time has distributed more than $20 million to law enforcement in California to combat alcohol-related crimes.

— Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.


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