Press Releases

Palm Desert Station

Posted on: June 25, 2022

Minor Decoy Operation

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Riverside County Sheriff's Department Press Release

Reporting Deputy: Varon Potter

File # N/A

Details:

Palm Desert, Calif. – On June 24, 2022, Deputies from the City of Palm Desert Business District and Special Enforcement Teams, in conjunction with Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, conducted a Minor Decoy Operation at multiple bars and restaurants throughout the City of Palm Desert. The Minor Decoy Program allows local law enforcement agencies to use persons under 20 years of age as decoys to purchase alcoholic beverages from licensed premises. During the operation, nine local bars and restaurants were contacted and three servers were issued misdemeanor citations for violation of 25658(a) Business and Professions Code, Furnishing an Alcoholic Beverage to a Minor.

The Decoy Program has been recognized as an excellent method to attack the problems associated with the unlawful purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages by people under the age of 21.

In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled that the use of minor decoys was not entrapment and did not violate due process requirements. Since the Supreme Court ruling hundreds of law enforcement agencies have used the Decoy Program. When used on a regular basis, the percentage of licensees selling to minors drops dramatically.

Under a law passed by the state legislature in 1995, licensees face increased penalties for sales to minors. A first time sale may result in a fine or license suspension. A second sale to a minor within a three year period is an automatic license suspension. A third sale to a minor within a three year period may result in license revocation.

For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.


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