Escondido Police train in, enforce, underage liquor laws

Escondido Police test the underage liquor sales waters.

Escondido Police LEAD alcohol training program

Now that you’ve got a California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) license, maybe you want to know how to serve.

Escondido Police Department was scheduled to host an ABC  Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs training class 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 1. The class will be at Escondido Police and Fire Headquarters,1163 N. Centre City Pkwy.

California LEAD program trains in ABC regulations.

California LEAD program trains in ABC regulations.

The LEAD program provides the alcohol beverage licensee and licensee applicants with practical information on serving alcoholic beverages safely, responsibly, and legally, and preventing illicit drug activity at the licensed establishment.

The program is a free, voluntary prevention and education program for retail alcohol beverage licensees, their employees and licensee applicants. Benefits of the training include reduced risk of liability (including criminal, civil, and administrative), possible reduced insurance premiums, and provides ways to deal with difficult situations.

To register for this free course go to the ABC website at:

Speaking of which, ‘Minor Decoy

Escondido Police have conducted two operations in the last three weeks involving underage youth attempting to procure liquor at local stores. Overall, the operations proved a success, according to police, with only one misdemeanor violation taking place.

On Feb. 11, Escondido Police detectives employed a minor under 21 years of age — i.e. the drinking age lest we forget — in a “Shoulder Tap” operation, according to Lt. Ed Varso.

“In this operation,” Varso said, “a minor who is working under the direction of a police detective, stood outside of four local businesses. The minor approached patrons of the business and asked if they would purchase alcohol for them.

“Twenty-one people were approached by the minor decoy,” Varso said. “All refused to purchase alcohol for the minor.”

An earlier “Minor Decoy” operation on Jan. 28 netted one arrest. Working under the guidance of a police detective, the underage youth tried to purchase alcohol at 14 businesses.

“Most of the businesses complied with the law by not selling alcohol to a minor,” Varso said. “However, Vons at 330 W. El Norte Pkwy. did sell alcohol to the minor. An employee at the store was given a misdemeanor citation for selling alcohol to a person under 21 years of age.”

Minor Decoy operations are a small part of the Escondido Police Department strategy to combat the dangers associated with underage drinking, Varso said, adding that additional operations were planned for  coming months.

Minor Decoy operations were funded with a grant through the ABC Grant Assistance Program.

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