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Posted on: September 26, 2019

South Lake Tahoe Police awarded grant to fight alcohol crimes

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South Lake Tahoe, CA- The South Lake Tahoe Police Department has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to fight alcohol-related crime.

The grant is awarded to local law enforcement agencies in California through ABC’s Alcohol Policing Partnership Program. The grants strengthen SLTPD’s efforts by combining the efforts of our officers and ABC agents. ABC agents have expertise in alcoholic beverage laws and can help communities reduce alcohol-related problems.

This money will be used to reduce the number of alcohol sales to minors, obviously intoxicated patrons, illegal solicitations of alcohol, and other criminal activities like the sale and possession of illegal drugs.

On September 21st, 2019 SLTPD with assistance from ABC conducted a minor decoy operation where minors under the direct supervision of officers, attempted to buy alcohol from 23 retail licensees in the City of South Lake Tahoe.  Officers cited 3 clerks for selling alcohol to minors at two 7 Eleven locations (2620 Lake Tahoe Blvd and 800 Emerald Bay Rd) and US Gasoline (2470 Lake Tahoe Blvd).

Selling alcohol to a minor comes with a minimum fine of $250, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for the first violation.  In addition, ABC will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business.  That may include a fine, a suspension of the license, or the permanent revocation of the license.

SLTPD conducts the compliance checks to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors.  Statistics show people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunk driving deaths than other adults. Minor Decoy operations have been conducted in the state since the 1980s.  When the program first started more than 40 percent of retail establishments were selling to minors. That rate has dropped to 10 percent or lower in some cities.  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. 

The APP Program has distributed over $20 million to local law enforcement to combat alcohol-related crime.

ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.