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Santa Maria Police arrested three people Saturday during a statewide operation targeting people that purchase alcohol for minors.

During the “shoulder tap” operation, a decoy under the age of 21 attempts to get people to purchase alcohol from stores that are licensed to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.

On Saturday, Santa Maria Police contacted 30 individuals at six different establishments and arrested three people who agreed to buy the minor alcohol, a department spokesman said.

Santa Maria Police also conducted a “minor decoy” operation, which involves a decoy under the age of 21 attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverages from establishments that are licensed to serve alcohol for consumption on premises, the spokesman said. No individuals were arrested during the minor decoy operation.  

These type of programs are intended to reduce the availability of alcoholic beverages to minors, the spokesman said, adding that statistics show that teens have a greater rate of drunk-driving crashes than adults.

Funding for the operation was provided the California Alcoholic Beverage Control grant to the Santa Maria Police Department in conjunction with the Guadalupe Police Department.

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