Four people were arrested Friday for furnishing alcohol to a minor, according to Martinez police. Since one of those people turned out to be a minor, a store clerk was also cited for sale of alcohol to a minor, police said.
According to Lt. Aaron Roth, Martinez police on Friday conducted its latest Decoy Shoulder Tap operation, where a minor working with police stands in front of a store and asks an adult to buy them liquor. If the adult agrees, he or she is arrested and cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor. The penalty is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
During one such arrest on Friday, Roth said the “adult” turned out to be 20 years old with “an obviously false” ID card. In that case, he said, the store clerk was also cited for selling alcohol to a minor.
The Shoulder Tap operation has been in place since the 1980s. It has proven to be effective, Roth said, in some cases reducing the violation rate of alcohol sales to minors from 40 to 50 percent to less than 10 percent. The program was determined to be legal by a unanimous ruling of the state Supreme Court in 1994.