More than 130 cited for allegedly buying alcohol for minors in California

Suspects arrested for allegedly buying alcohol for a minor during a statewide undercover operation. (California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control)

More than 130 people were cited in California on Saturday for allegedly purchasing alcohol for minors.

A “Shoulder Tap” operation took place statewide involving 44 local law enforcement agencies in partnership with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

During the operation, a minor under the supervision of law enforcement stands outside of a liquor or convenience store and asks customers to buy them alcohol.

The minor will indicate they are underage and cannot purchase alcohol.

“If an adult agrees to purchase alcohol for the underage person, they can be arrested and cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor,” authorities said.

Through this method, dozens of people were cited for allegedly providing alcoholic beverages to minors, officials said. At least nine others were cited for open containers, public intoxication, DUI, and other crimes.

“We conduct these operations as an effort to keep alcohol out of the hands of our youth,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “This collaborative effort among California law enforcement agencies spotlights underage drinking prevention, increases public safety for communities, and helps reduce DUIs.”

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

Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a much higher risk of being involved in a crash than older drivers. About 25 percent of fatal crashes involve underage drinking according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).