Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents conducted minor decoy operations in Isla Vista last Friday, citing seven businesses for knowingly selling alcohol to individuals under the age of 21.
Providing alcohol to minors involves a minimum fine of $1,000 and 24 hours of community service. According to a statement released by the SB County Sheriff’s Office, all seven businesses are subject to a fine of up to $3,000 each. Minor decoy programs involve ABC- and Sheriff-contracted individuals under the age of 21 attempting to purchase alcohol from businesses with liquor licenses.
Some businesses did not check identification, while others checked identification and still sold alcohol to customers despite minor status, according to officials with the Sheriff’s Office.
The SB County Sheriff’s Office recently received a $50,000 grant from ABC to address the high percentage of alcohol related crimes in the I.V. and Goleta area. According to the statement, the grant is used only for overtime investigations and will not interfere with everyday law enforce operations.
According to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the investigations aim to reduce youth access to alcohol in areas where alcohol-related crimes are highest, and to ensure that businesses with licenses to sell alcohol enforce the minimum purchase age.
The press release stated minor decoy operations conducted in I.V. last year found zero citations with all businesses in compliance with the alcoholic minimum age limit.