Sheriff SUV

Side view of a Patterson Police Services SUV.

On Friday, April 19, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies, working with underage Sheriff’s Explorers as decoys, conducted a “Shoulder Tap” operation.

A “Shoulder Tap” operation is designed to discourage adults from purchasing or furnishing alcohol for minors. A minor working directly with law enforcement will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and approach oncoming adults outside the store. The minor will indicate he or she is underage and will ask the adults to purchase alcohol for them. If the adult agrees to buy the alcohol and gives the alcohol to the minor, law enforcement will cite them for furnishing alcohol to a minor, and they can face fines up to a thousand dollars.

During the eight-hour operation, the decoys contacted 13 people at five ABC-licensed businesses. Two adults purchased alcohol for the decoys. One of these subjects was stopped while driving away. This subject was believed to be impaired by alcohol. The California Highway Patrol conducted an investigation, and the subject was arrested for DUI.

Criminal charges related to the driver's alleged purchase of alcohol for the decoys were sent to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”

If you have any tips, you can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can also e-mail tips at, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message and be eligible for a cash reward

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