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Pacifica authorities bust alcohol merchants selling to underage drinkers

Pacifica authorities busted local merchants selling alcohol to minors through a recent sting operation, a report on Mercury News said Tuesday.

According to the report, Pacifica Police Department partnered with the COAST 21 Task Force to catch alcohol sellers selling to underage residents using a decoy minor.

The decoy minor, which was employed under California’s Minor Decoy Program, was instructed by officers to try to buy alcohol from licensed retailers. The decoy was told to be honest about his or her age and to present identification cards to the alcohol merchant as required, the report revealed.

The operation found that some retailers continue to sell alcohol to the decoy in extreme disregard of alcohol laws. Of the 15 shops licensed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and visited by the decoy, three retailers sold alcoholic drinks to the decoy.

The goal of the program is to contain the number of violators in the state and reduce alcohol availability and access to underage people.

Authorities in California have been using minor decoy programs since 1987, according to the ABC. It noted that these programs were “found to be effective” and “can markedly increase the percentage of licensees who comply with the minimum-purchase-age law.”

Indeed, compliance rates among alcohol retailers have soared within a five-period from 2002 to 2007, from just 79.82 percent to 84.11 percent.

Sellers who provide alcohol to minors could receive a citation, and may be subjected to pay a penalty of $250 and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service.

Authorities have added more establishments to visit each year for their decoy operations, from 4,262 in 2002 to 2003, to 6,194 in 2006 to 2007.

“Compliance has improved over the years, but anything less than 100% should be unacceptable,” said Brady Grainier, Chief Operating Officer of BioCorRx, Inc. (OTCQB: BICX). BioCorRx, Inc. is a Santa Ana-based addiction treatment company that licenses and distributes its alcohol and opioid addiction treatment program, called the Start Fresh Program, to clinics across America.

The program uses a biodegradable implant formulation of naltrexone, which curbs an alcoholic’s cravings for opioid drugs and alcohol for several months, and a series of private, one-on-one life coaching sessions to help recovering addicts plan for a life free from substance abuse.

Policies that limit alcohol use and availability to individuals work well in reducing incidences of binge drinking in general in states. A 2013 study from the Boston University Medical Center suggests that stricter alcohol laws, especially those that limit the physical availability of alcohol as well as higher alcohol pricings could lower binge drinking by as much as 10 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that underage drinking is a “major public health problem” in the United States. It added that alcohol remains the commonly misused and abused drug among teens in the country, and account for over 4,300 yearly deaths among young people below 21 years old.

Citing data from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the CDC reported that 11 percent of all alcoholic beverages consumed in the country were drank by underage people.