Authorities issue warning in alcohol decoy sting

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sheriffESCONDIDO, Calif. – Five North County businesses were caught selling alcohol to an undercover agent pretending to be a stumbling drunk, and warned not to do that again.

Sheriff’s deputies, Escondido police officers and agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control conducted the undercover operation between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, the Sheriff’s department said.

Undercover agents entered eight unspecified businesses with liquor licenses, and tried to buy alcohol while stumbling, slurring speech and smelling of alcohol, the sheriff’s department said.

Five of the eight establishments sold the undercover officers rang up the purchases, and it is a misdemeanor in California to sell alcohol to someone who is obviously drunk, the Sheriff’s department said.

No enforcement action will be taken, sheriff’s deputies said. Clerks who sold the alcohol were given an explanation about state liquor license laws.

The Sheriff’s department called the operation educational and said that similar operations will continue the rest of the year. The operation was part of a $100,000 grant to the Sheriff’s department and $60,000 grant to the Escondido Police Department from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.


  • Dee

    Owned a nightclub for 25 years…..and had the decoys attempt service numerous times…never got any gift certificate from anybody.

    It's probably the owner that gives the certificate to his employees if they pass.

    I used to give my guys $20 for each fake ID.

    • Esco

      It is. These checks are done by corporate to keep everyone on their toes. Seems like the decoy has a pretty cushy job to me.

    • O'side

      They're trying to prevent accidents from happening such as the Timothy Theodore Barnette crash that killed a man on his way to a funeral. That crash wasn't alcohol related but countless others are nationwide. If you think our tax dollars are better spent scraping people off the freeway and emergency responses, that doesn't seem very conservative to me.

      • irateiconoclast

        No evidence suggesting there's any correlation whatsoever between decoy snitch-bastards skulking around and the prevention of traffic accidents. In actuality, it's POLICE STATE nonsense that we expect in hellholes like Cuba, North Korea and Saudi Arabia–but NOT in America!

        It's garbage and I urge all liberty-loving Americans to RESIST IT!


    So they spent $100,000 of taxpayer money in a sting, caught 5 people breaking the law, and then did nothing??? And we wonder why the state's in the financial crapper.

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