South Monterey County, CA (August 19, 2011) – Sun Street Centers Safe Teens Empowerment Project (STEPS) participated in a decoy operation with the State of California Alcoholic Beverage Control in South County this past Saturday.
The clerk that sold to a minor may face a minimum fine of $250, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation. In addition, ABC will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business where alcohol was sold to a minor. That may include a fine, a suspension of the liquor license, or the permanent revocation of the license.
The operation took place in the city of Gonzales where nine alcohol outlets were visited and only one outlet sold alcohol to a minor. The clerks asked for I.D. in each of the nine locations visited as well as the alcohol outlet that sold to a minor. The offending clerk was provided truthful information ( a valid California ID) and still sold to a minor. The decoy operation was not limited to the city of Gonzales; one establishment on River Road near Salinas was visited as well as an alcohol outlet in Lockwood and another in Pleyto, just north of Lake San Antonio South Shore. Every other location was found to be in compliance with not selling any alcoholic beverage to minors and also practiced checking ID’s.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning.
We welcome our communities to support S.T.E.P.S. in South County, Seaside and Salinas in its mission to reduce alcohol-related trauma, injuries and fatalities; access and the initiated use of alcohol among youth. Businesses that did not sell to minors will receive thank you notes from local students and a certificate of appreciation from Sun Street Centers for putting the health and well being of the community first.