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Newport Beach Police Department
Wednesday March 8th, 2017 :: 01:00 p.m. PST


Press Release: NBPD Cites Establishments for Selling Alcohol to Minors

On Thursday, March 2, 2017, Newport Beach Police Detectives partnered with Investigators from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to conduct a compliance check operation on local liquor-licensed establishments. Under the direct supervision of NBPD and ABC staff, minors attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages from 12 different retail licensees in the city of Newport Beach. Citations were issued at five establishments: Circle K, Pizza Bar, Bal Harbor Liquor, Henry’s Groceries, and Azar’s Pizza. The remaining seven businesses did not sell alcohol to the underage decoys: Outpost Liquor, Sessions West Coast Deli, Sancho’s Tacos, Sportsman’s Liquor, Bal-Port Liquors, Patty Macs, and Baja Beach CafĂ©.
Those who sell alcoholic beverages to minors face a fine of $1,000 and/or 24-32 hours of community service for a first violation. In addition, ABC will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license belonging to the businesses where the sales to minors occurred. Possible repercussions include fines, suspension of the establishment’s liquor license, or the permanent revocation of the license.
Minor Decoy Operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state since the 1980s. In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool for law enforcement to ensure that licensed premises are complying with the law.
Funding for this operation was provided by a $48,191 grant awarded to the NBPD from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control 2016/2017 Grant Assistance Program (GAP). The GAP grant award allows the Police Department to work with retail alcohol establishments on issues such as over-service, underage drinking, and ABC condition violations.
On May 24, 2017, the Newport Beach Police Department will host a Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) training, in which ABC Investigators educate employees of local bars, restaurants, and other retail establishments on responsible beverage service. The Police Department has hosted two prior LEAD classes, which over 100 local employees attended.
The City of Newport Beach has over 439 active retail ABC licenses.

Newport Beach Police Department
870 Santa Barbara Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Emergency: 9-1-1

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