REDLANDS, Calif. — Three suspects were arrested by Redlands Police and agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) on Saturday, Feb. 3 for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors.
Why it matters: Underage drinking is a significant concern due to its impact on growth, brain development, and its association with suicide, homicide, violence, and serious injuries, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Details: ABC agents collaborated with local law enforcement to conduct a Shoulder Tap operation which targets adults who purchase alcohol for persons under the age of 21. This operation places a supervised minor outside of a liquor or convenience store and has them ask customers to buy them alcohol while explicitly sharing that they are underage and unable to purchase it themselves. Those who agree to purchase alcohol are subsequently arrested.
The operation was funded through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“We conduct these operations to keep alcohol out of the hands of our youth,” said ABC Director Joseph McCullough. “By preventing underage drinking, we can increase the quality of life in our communities, reduce DUIs and prevent serious injuries on our roads.”
The penalty for adults who are arrested and cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor can be a minimum fine of $1,000 and 24 hours of community service.
What they’re saying: “Underage drinking negatively impacts our community. Preventing the sale of alcohol to minors will help to increase public safety and make our roads safer,” said Redlands Chief of Police Rachel Tolber.
Zoom out: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 25% of fatal crashes involve underage drinking. These statistics are particularly alarming when considering that in 2022, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 10.9 million people ages 12 to 20 reported drinking in the past year.