California law enforcement from across 70 agencies, including University Police Department (UPD), arrested or cited 335 individuals March 10 as part of a statewide underage drinking operation.
The operation occurs annually where California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents and local law enforcement conduct a program known as the “Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation.” A minor, under the direct supervision of an officer, asks adults outside of a store to buy them alcohol. If the adult complies with the request, an arrest and citation for furnishing alcohol to a minor may result.
According to UPD Deputy Police Chief Brenda Trobaugh, UPD caught one adult furnishing alcohol to a minor before rain prevented the operation from continuing.
The consequence for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
The statewide operation is part of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s GAP Grant Project. It is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety.
UPD plans to do another operation sometime this year, but it will not be done simultaneously with other departments across the state as was the case on March 10.
“We want everyone to enjoy their college, but we want them to be safe while they do it,” Trobaugh said.
In addition, the grant allows UPD to program and educate students about alcohol rather than just enforce California laws. UPD has arranged programs with so-called beer goggles, which are designed to stimulate the effects of being under the influence.
Recently, UPD has been working on public service announcements (PSA) with campus partners. In collaboration with Fraternity and Sorority Life, they filmed an educational PSA about how to host a party for St. Patrick’s Day. The next upcoming PSA they are working on is with Cal Poly Rodeo about being responsible with alcohol.