In the past five months, Placer County police and sheriff's department personnel have used a state grant to crack down on underage drinking.
A total of 27 citations have been issued for selling booze to minors. In addition, 15 people have been cited for buying alcohol for a minor.
The concerted effort to stem underage drinking was funded with a grant of about $100,000 from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
The primary objective was to reduce youth access to alcohol, statistics showing that minors generally have a higher rate of drunken driving crashes than adults, stated an ABC press release.
Operations conducted by officers included having a minor under the direction of law enforcement attempt to purchase alcohol from a retailer. Those who sold alcohol to the minor decoys face a minimum fine of $250 and the business could face disciplinary action.
Another method used by officers was the "shoulder tap decoy" operation in which a minor working under the direction of a peace officer asks patrons outside a liquor or convenience store if they will buy booze for them.
The minor indicates he is underage. Furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and community service.