Walnut Creek police are launching a “shoulder tap” program among the city’s stores to discourage underage drinking. The legal drinking age in California is 21, and any adult who buys alcohol for minors may be charged with a crime for furnishing alcoholic beverages or hosting underage drinking parties. Minors who are pulled over with any alcohol in their systems may also be charged under California DUI laws.
The “shoulder tap” programs involved using minors enrolled in the police academy. These young men and women attempted to coax adults into purchasing for them. Police found that adults at each of the five stores targeted refused, and some threatened to call the police on the young people.
Many minors have used false identification for purposes of obtaining alcohol at local stores in the past few years or have attempted to persuade adults to buy it for them. Law enforcement authorities encourage parents to discuss the consequences of alcohol purchase and use with young people, especially as it relates to loss of driving privileges. The threat of losing a driver’s license is often a powerful motivator to stop young people from drinking.
Both minors and adults who are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol may face serious criminal charges. Minors can lose their driver’s licenses and be forced to perform community service or even spend time in jail. Adults can also lose driving privileges and may face thousands of dollars in fines for a single conviction. A DUI attorney may be able to help a driver who is accused of this serious crime negotiate a plea agreement or mount a defense to DUI charges.