In an effort to reduce the amount of alcohol sold to minors, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office conducted several decoy and “shoulder tap” operations through an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) grant. On Wednesday, statistics released by the office for fiscal 2018-19 showed that in 20 sting operations, 43 people were cited.

Throughout the year, nine Minor Decoy Operations were conducted in which an under-aged person was sent into 47 restaurant/bars and 67 liquor/grocery store locations to buy alcohol. Fifteen employees were cited with violations as a result, and their locations were reported to the ABC for license action. Additionally, 11 Shoulder Tap Operations had an under-aged decoy ask people over 21 for alcohol outside various stores; out of 479 people, 28 were cited.

The ABC grant is used by the department to educate the community and combat alcohol-related issues negatively impacting the Isla Vista and Goleta areas, according to the press release. It also provided funds for extra enforcement and security in Isla Vista during Deltopia and Halloween, two large street parties in the university town that have turned violent in the past.


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