Sting Nets Five for Underage Alcohol Purchase

Five people received citations for buying alcohol for a minor in a Sheriff's Office sting conducted in Goleta and Isla Vista on March 9. Standing outside a store, a "decoy" aged between 18 and 21 asked an entering customer to buy for them, informing the individual that they were under age. Among the 67 asked, only five agreed, resulting in a ticket from awaiting deputies.

The Santa Barbara program was paid in part through a grant from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control, which conducted the sting throughout California. ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith cited the fatality statistics to warrant the operation: "Unfortunately, over 4,000 young people die in alcohol-related tragedies every year in this country." About 70 participating law enforcement agencies netted about 339 individuals buying for an underage counterfeit drinker. Others were cited for open container, and still more were arrested on warrants, for public drunkenness, and one for murder, according to ABC. Furnishing alcohol to a minor carries a minimum fine of $1,000 and 24 hours of community service.