Officers with the Merced Police Department worked a minor decoy sting operation on Thursday,
February 23rd. The purpose of the sting operation was to ensure that businesses are not selling
alcohol to underage customers.
Under the direct supervision of the officers, minor decoys
(juveniles under the legal age to drink/purchase alcohol) entered businesses that are licensed
to sell alcohol and then attempted to purchase alcohol.
The following businesses did not sell alcohol to the minor decoys:
Bob Cat Diner, Yosemite Ave
Strings Café, Yosemite Ave
Turmeric’s Indian Cuisine, Yosemite Ave
Florencio’s, Yosemite Ave
Chipotle, W Olive Ave
Taqueria El Huarache, R St
AM/PM, G St
7-11, E Olive Ave
“It is encouraging when the employees of these restaurants check identifications and refuse to
sell alcohol to minors,” said Sgt. Alan Ward. “This will help keep Merced’s youth safe.”
One business did sell alcohol to a minor. Wing Stop located on Yosemite Ave sold alcohol to a
minor despite asking for the minor’s ID. Those who sell alcohol to a minor will have
administrative action taken against them. That action may include a fine, a suspension of their
liquor license, or the permanent revocation of the license or all of the above.
Minor Decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state
since the 1980’s. When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments
selling to minors was as high as 40 to 50 percent. When conducted on a routine basis, the
rate has dropped in some cities to as low as 10 percent or even below.
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 the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage
Control (ABC). Along with four officers from the Merced Police Department, there were two
agents from ABC that assisted with the sting operation