Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office news release:
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is announcing the results of a number of specialized alcohol enforcement operations conducted over the past eight months in Isla Vista and Goleta. The Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) grant funded operations are part of a statewide effort to combat underage drinking. In all, 21 citations were issued during the course of 18 different enforcement operations.
The enforcement included a total of six “Minor Decoy” operations which resulted in seven citations. In this type of operation, an underage minor decoy working under the direct supervision of law enforcement enters a business and attempts to purchase alcohol from the clerk. Of the 15 locations visited most recently on May 12 and May 20, only one sold alcohol to the minor and was cited for Business & Professions Code §25658(a) – Furnishing alcohol to a minor. Additionally, this business will be subject to further ABC administrative measures.
The Sheriff’s Office also conducted five “Shoulder Tap” operations. In this type of operation, minor decoys stand outside convenience stores and liquor stores and ask patrons to buy them alcohol. The minors make it clear that they are underage and cannot purchase the alcohol by themselves. Of the 38 individuals contacted by the minor decoys during the grant period, ten were cited for furnishing alcohol to the minors.
Sheriff’s deputies also conducted four IMPACT inspections at 15 businesses throughout Isla Vista and Goleta. The purpose of these types of inspections is to ensure that the establishments are complying with the terms and conditions of their liquor licenses. One of the businesses inspected was issued a misdemeanor citation for being in possession of liquor that was prohibited by the terms of their license.
Also during the grant period, the Sheriff’s Office conducted three TRAPDOOR operations targeted at the use of fake ID’s which resulted in three citations.
In addition to the enforcement activity, deputies assigned to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol station hosted a free alcohol awareness class for local businesses who sell/serve alcoholic beverages.
During the grant period, the Sheriff’s Office also conducted 28 general alcohol enforcement operations which supplemented the Isla Vista Foot Patrol station during peak activity. These operations resulted in more than 50 alcohol-related bookings and more than 350 citations issued for alcohol-related offenses.
Sgt. Joe Schmidt of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol is grateful for the grant funding to help promote awareness and public safety in an area that tends to have a higher percentage of alcohol related incidents. He said, “The ABC grant was instrumental in helping the Sheriff’s Office mitigate underage drinking in Isla Vista and Goleta. The directed alcohol enforcement and awareness education facilitated by the grant undoubtedly prevented more serious problems in our community.”
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.
The ABC’s Grant Assistance Program (GAP) was established in 1995 and during that time, has distributed more than 20 million dollars to law enforcement in California to combat alcohol-related crime.