San Diego law enforcement team up for ‘drunk decoy’ operation

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SAN DIEGO — Law enforcement from three agencies teamed up this weekend in an effort to crack down on impaired driving and alcohol-related incidents.

The “drunk decoy” operation took place Saturday in San Diego and Encinitas. The San Diego Sheriff’s Department said its deputies worked with San Diego police and members of the state’s alcoholic beverage control team.

An undercover deputy or officer went into eight stores licensed to sell alcohol and acted intoxicated. The decoys smelled of alcohol, slurred their speech, stumbled in the store and showed other signs of impairment. They then tried to buy alcohol.

The sheriff’s department said five of the eight businesses sold alcohol to the decoys. It is a misdemeanor to sell alcohol to someone who is obviously drunk in California.

Deputies said the operation aimed to help keep the public safe from impaired drivers and prevent alcohol-related incidents. It was for educational purposes and no enforcement action was taken.

Saturday’s operation was part of a $100,000 grant the agency received from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control with more operations planned through July 2021.

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