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Clerks at Ventura County shops cited, allegedly sold alcohol to minors

By Vivian Chow,

2023-03-15

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Three clerks at Ventura County supermarkets and liquor stores were cited for allegedly selling alcohol to minors.

The decoy operation took place on March 9 and targeted ten businesses in Camarillo, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

The operation involved a minor who, under the direct supervision of law enforcement, attempted to purchase alcohol from the businesses.

The undercover minor was able to purchase alcohol at three locations — Village Green Market, La Bodega, and Smart and Final, authorities said.

The clerks who allegedly sold the alcohol were cited and face a minimum fine of $250 along with 24-32 hours of community service for a first violation, officials said.

Additional administrative actions may be taken against the businesses involved including a fine, suspension or the permanent revocation of a license, according to the ABC.

More than 130 cited for allegedly buying alcohol for minors in California

One of the businesses involved faces a $20,000 fine due to a “second violation in less than one year,” authorities said.

The undercover operation aims to tackle underage driving and the dangers that go along with it, said ABC.

Earlier in the month, more than 130 people were cited in California for allegedly purchasing alcohol for minors in a statewide “Shoulder Tap” operation.

During the operation, a minor under the supervision of law enforcement stood outside of a liquor or convenience store and asked customers to buy them alcohol.

“Statistics have shown that young people under the age of twenty-one have a much higher risk of being involved in a crash than older drivers,” officials said. “About twenty-five percent of fatal crashes involve underage drinking according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Establishments that continue selling to minors risk losing their alcohol sales license and additional fines.”

Anyone who knows of establishments that sell alcohol to minors can call the sheriff’s office at 805-654-9511 or email Christopher.dyer@ventura.org. Callers can remain anonymous.

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