On January 20, a press release issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) indicated that two area stores were cited for selling alcohol to minors as part of a January 14 law enforcement, minor-decoy operation. The minors were under the direct supervision of an investigator from the ABC as they attempted to purchase alcohol from six local, licensed alcohol venders. According to ABC representatives, the two offenders face a minimum fine of $250 and/or 32 hours of community service for a first violation, in addition to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s administrative action against the licensees which could include a fine, suspension of alcohol license, or the permanent removal of the license.
7-11, at 7443 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, was cited for selling alcohol to somebody under the age of 21. Prior to this citation, this particular location has a pending disciplinary action with the ABC for a violation in October of 2007. The Isla Vista Market, located at 939 Embarcadero Del Mar in Isla Vista, was the second offender in the random investigation; the location had no active alcohol-related disciplinary actions since 1993. According to John Carr, Public Information Officer at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in Sacramento, the average statewide violation rate in these minor-decoy operations is between 18 and 20 percent, with this particular investigation of Goleta resulting in 33 percent citations.
Statewide compliance checks are being conducted in order to reduce availability of alcohol to minors. According to the State of California Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency, those who are too young to legally consume alcohol account for “more drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.” The operation, therefore, is being implemented throughout California and is being funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.