27 Bay Area citations in underage alcohol buy program

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Twenty-seven people had been cited or arrested in the Bay Area by 9:45 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of helping minors buy for as part of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control's "Operation Shoulder Tap" 2019.

Statewide, more than 70 law enforcement agencies reported 339 citations and arrests by 9:45 p.m. Saturday as part of Operation Shoulder Tap.

In this 10-year-old program, law enforcement agencies, in collaboration with the state ABC, use decoys -- minors who try to get people to buy alcohol for them. In 2018, ABC agents cited or arrested more than 3,200 people in "Shoulder Tap" operations, the agency said.

Over the program's 10 years, about one in 10 people approached as part of a "Shoulder Tap" operation buys alcohol for a decoy, the ABC said.

The timing of the operation centers on the St. Patrick's Day, March 17, which this year is a Sunday.