400 Arrested, 222 in SoCal, During Statewide Underage Drinking Enforcement Operation

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This file photo shows a man in handcuffs. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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More than 400 people were arrested, including 222 in Southern California, during a recent statewide underage drinking enforcement operation, authorities announced Monday.

The one-day operation, which lasted most of Saturday, was conducted in an effort to help reduce alcohol access to underage drinkers, according to a news release from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Agents from the department, as well as law enforcement personnel from about 80 police and sheriff’s departments, participated in the decoy shoulder tap operation, the release stated.

The arrests included 124 individuals in L.A. County, 57 in Riverside County, 10 in San Bernardino County and two in Ventura County, according to the release.

 Nearly 340 individuals were cited for furnishing alcohol to minors, while at least 70 were cited or arrested for open containers, false identifications, possession of illegal drugs and public drunkenness, authorities said. 

The shoulder tap operation utilizes minors under the supervision of a peace officer and places them outside a liquor or convenience store. While outside, they ask patrons to purchase alcohol for them, indicating they are underage and therefore cannot legally buy the product. 

If the adult agrees and buys an alcoholic beverage for the minor, they can be arrested or cited, according to the release.

Penalties include a minimum of a $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

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