Home Martinez Shoulder Tap Sting Nets Unexpected Results Tuesday

Shoulder Tap Sting Nets Unexpected Results Tuesday


A so-called “shoulder tap” sting operation, in which police watch for adults purchasing alcohol for people less than 21 years of age, was conducted by police in Martinez Tuesday.

Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol. If the adult agrees to purchase alcohol for the minor, officers then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor.

During this operation, one adult purchased alcohol for the minor and was issued a citation. In a separate incident, a second subject told the minor he did not have his identification to purchase alcohol, but instead offered to sell the 17-year-old marijuana. This subject was subsequently arrested for selling marijuana to a juvenile, which is a felony.

These operations are conducted in an attempt to educate the public about the Dangers of furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors. A perfect operation is one where the minor is unable to purchase an alcoholic beverage. Unfortunately, many people will furnish the alcoholic beverage to the minor only to comment afterwards they thought it could be a police sting.

Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.

This project is part of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Minor Decoy / Shoulder Tap Grant Project, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


  1. While recently entering Long’s (errr…CVS…sorry, I’m an old-timer) I was approached by a teen couple and asked to buy them a box of condoms. I couldn’t decide if this was a scam to mug me somehow, a sting operation like these alcohol ones you’ve written about, or if it was just a teen couple too embarrassed to buy condoms. I started speaking in German, acted like I didn’t understand English, and pressed onward.

  2. schlongkapasenhelignakten more or less. I am a little rusyt!
    5:46 pm (Ja, I am tracking to see if some posts are more equal than others)

    • Fahrvergnügen.

      That’s the extent of our German. As far as time-stamping your posts, you are welcome to, though we can assure you it is not a matter of “equality” of some posts over others. It’s a matter of having one of a small band of scribblers in the office and able to toggle the approval switch on a comment when it comes in. Unless it is a death threat or a troll or has some really, really naughty words you’re pretty much good to go. But we also maintain a standard (gently enforced) that people seem to appreciate.

      Auf wedersehn!

  3. Brendan: Just kidding. I made that word up. When in a foreign country, forget Google Translate, pantomime always works best. The authorities are such kidders, and even so, pantomime gets lost in translation in court proceedings. Usually the officer involved declines to attend rather than participate in a game of charades. Bear in mind, I am not an actual attorney.

    Just remember to greet everyone with “fahrvergnügen”, and “Oktoberfest”, and I think you will be treated like royalty. The dollar is strong.

    I am off to Portugal soon. I have been taking acting lessons. Wish me luck!

  4. Wow. A felony for selling pot to a 17 year old? Surely it is a public service to give a teen pot versus booze, no?

  5. I agree. Wow! A felony? Schedule II drug? Yeah, sure.
    In a world where Bill Clinton didn’t inhale and didn’t like it, maybe, but in our world where our prisons are full of petty offenders who pose limited danger to us, maybe leading the world in incarceration is not a good thing.

    We’re number one! We’re number one!

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