Cinco De Mayo Shoulder Tap Sting Leads to Citations in Lodi

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LODI -- As Cinco de Mayo celebrations were on going Thursday, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was busy enforcing statewide drinking laws.

Agents were out patrolling local bars and spent the earlier part of the evening trying to stop underage drinking by using cadets to assist the sting.

"Well, they'll just say 'hey, can you buy me some beer?'" explained John Carr with ABC. "And it's as simple as that, and, unfortunately, some people agree to do that."

Operation Shoulder Tap had the underage cadets wear recording devices and asked unsuspecting patrons to buy them alcohol as police and ABC agents monitored the situation from nearby.

"Approximately nine out of 10 people say 'no', so that's good," said Carr. "But we still have some folks agreeing to buy alcohol for minors, and it puts them in danger, the minors in danger and a violation of the law."

ABC officers were able to work alongside Lodi police and the underage cadets because of a statewide grant.

And it wasn't long Thursday before they got their first bust. In fact, police wrote two citations within 20 minutes at two separate locations.

"That citation can be a fine as much as a thousand dollars for furnishing alcohol to a minor," said Carr.

"It's all about safety. We want to make sure people have fun on Cinco de Mayo but also keep things safe."