MERCED, CA – Officers with the Merced Police Department worked a minor decoy sting operation on Monday, January 25th. The purpose of the sting operation was to ensure that businesses are not selling alcohol to underaged persons. Under the direct supervision of the officers, minor decoys (juveniles under the legal age to drink/purchase alcohol) entered businesses that are licensed to sell alcohol and then attempted to purchase alcohol. The following businesses did not sell alcohol to the minor decoys:
Strings Italian on Yosemite Ave
Tumeric Indian Cuisine on Yosemite Ave
WingStop on Yosemite Ave
Me n Ed’s on G St
Houa Khong 2 on G St
La Hacienda 2 on G St
Golden Bowl on G St
Villa Mexican Food on Loughborough Dr
“It is encouraging when the employees of these restaurants check identifications and refuse to sell alcohol to minors,” said Sgt. Don King. “This will help keep Merced’s youth safe.”
Those who sell alcohol to a minor will have administrative action taken against them. That action may include a fine, a suspension of the liquor license, or the permanent revocation of the license or all of the above.
Minor Decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state since the 1980’s. When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments selling to minors was as high as 40 to 50 percent. When conducted on a routine basis, the rate has dropped in some cities to as low as 10 percent or even below.
In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that liquor licensees are complying with the law.
Funding for this program was provided by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Along with four officers from the Merced Police Department, there were two agents from ABC that assisted with the sting operation