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SBSD - Colorado River Sheriffs Department
Thursday June 30th, 2022 :: 10:20 a.m. PDT


Five Citations Issued During a Minor Decoy Operation in Needles Aimed to Curb Alcohol Sales to Minors

DATE: June 29, 2022

INCIDENT: California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control-Minor Decoy Operation


SUMMARY: On June 29, 2022, agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, in conjunction with Detectives from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Colorado River Station / Needles Police Department, conducted a Minor Decoy Operation at multiple off-sale locations throughout the city of Needles. The Minor Decoy Program allows local law enforcement agencies to use persons under 20 years of age as decoys to purchase alcoholic beverages from licensed premises. 

During the operation, nine locations were contacted and five clerks were issued misdemeanor citations for violation of 25658(a) Business and Professions Code, Furnishing / Sell an Alcoholic Beverage to a Minor. 

The Decoy Program has been recognized as an excellent method to attack the problems associated with the unlawful purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages by people under the age of 21. In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled that the use of minor decoys was not entrapment and did not violate due process requirements. Since the Supreme Court ruling, hundreds of law enforcement agencies have used the Decoy Program. When used on a regular basis, the percentage of licensees selling to minors drops dramatically. 

Under a law passed by the state legislature in 1995, licensees face increased penalties for sales to minors. A first time sale may result in a fine or license suspension. A second sale to a minor within a three year period is an automatic license suspension. A third sale to a minor within a three year period may result in license revocation.

For press releases, news, and information, follow the Colorado River Station on Twitter at: @CORiverStation or Facebook  and/or Instagram @SBCSDColoradoRiverStation.

Refer: Detective A. Pennington or Detective B. Abell

Station: Colorado River Station

Phone No. (760)326-9200

SHANNON D. DICUS, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

SBSD - Colorado River Sheriffs Department
1111 Bailey Ave
Needles, CA 92363

Emergency: 9-1-1

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