Fortuna Police Department press release:

Officers from the Fortuna Police Department arrested three suspects on December 19, 2014 for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors. The operation was conducted in the City of Fortuna.

The Fortuna Police Department conducted a program called a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation which targets adults who purchase alcohol for people less than 21 years of age. Under the program, a minor under direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol. During the operation, a total of 28 patrons were asked to purchase alcohol for the minor.

If the adult agrees to purchase alcohol for the minor, Officers then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population. Studies also show the combination of alcohol and youth tends to increase criminal conduct.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) through the department’s Grant Assistance Program.