The Tualatin Police Department sent underage volunteers into 13 Tualatin establishments to attempt to buy alcohol
Last Friday, June 20, in conjunction with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the Tualatin Police Department sent underage volunteers into 13 Tualatin establishments, where they attempted to purchase alcohol. Of these, four establishments sold alcohol to the minor.
The minor decoy operation was conducted with the long-term goal of reducing alcohol access to those under 21 years of age. In the operation, the decoys truthfully answered questions about their ages and did not use fake identification.
"Many adults believe drinking is a harmless rite of passage. They may have no idea what is really happening at these underage parties," says Rebecca Collett of Washington County Health and Human Services. "Even though data shows that most high school kids in Washington County are, in fact, not drinking, it's still a serious problem with dangerous consequences."
Criminal penalties are charged to sales clerks and servers who furnish alcohol to minors. A first conviction results in a $350 fine; second conviction, $1,000; third or subsequent conviction, $1,000 fine and not less than 30 days in jail. For non-compliant store/restaurant owners or licensees, the OLCC may impose administrative sanctions with a maximum fine of $4,950, which can also result in license suspension or revocation.
The minor decoy operation was funded by a grant from Washington County Health and Human Services, which is also working with local groups like Tualatin Together to prevent unsafe social environments conducive to underage drinking. The operations will continue throughout the year, with the goal of zero Tualatin establishments selling alcohol to minors.