SSFPD Media Release: ABC Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation

South San Francisco, CA   August 13, 2019 Submitted by SSFPD

Officers from the South San Francisco, San Bruno, and Pacifica Police Departments have arrested 9 adults who purchased alcohol for minors on Saturday, August 10, 2019. The actions were the result of a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation.


A Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation targets adults who purchase alcohol for people less than 21 years of age. Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol. If the adults agree to purchase alcohol for the minor, agents then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.


In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees are complying with the law. Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.


Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) through the department’s Grant Assistance Program; the South San Francisco, San Bruno, and Pacifica Police Departments are in partnership for this grant funding. ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.




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Michael Wisper
Michael Wisper
3 years ago

Doesn’t this constitute ENTRAPMENT??? Since when is THAT OK?