Through a grant awarded by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Menlo Park Police Department conducted a Minor Decoy operation on Sunday, December 21, 2014. A requirement of the grant is to conduct compliance checks at ABC-licensed locations.
During the operation a minor, under the direct supervision of the Menlo Park Police Department, attempted to purchase alcohol at 27 different locations in the City of Menlo Park. The Minor Decoy was unsuccessful at every location.
During a Minor Decoy operation, the minor must be under the age of 20, must have the appearance of a minor, cannot wear clothes or jewelry that would make them look older, and must answer truthfully if asked their age.
These compliance checks are taking place in cities throughout the state in order to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. The goal of the mini-grants is to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors and reduce alcohol-related crime through multiple enforcement, educational and prevention programs conducted by ABC Agents and local law enforcement officers.
In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that liquor licensees are complying with the law.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.