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Fortuna Police Department

Posted on: September 30, 2019

Fortuna Police Awarded Grant to Combat Alcohol Related Crimes in the Eel River Valley

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The Fortuna Police Department has been awarded a $24,000 grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to fight alcohol-related crime.

The grant is awarded to local law enforcement agencies in California through ABC’s Alcohol Policing Partnership Program. The grant strengthens Fortuna Police efforts by combining the efforts of their officers and ABC agents. ABC agents have expertise in alcoholic beverage laws and can help communities reduce alcohol-related problems.

This money will be used to reduce the number of alcohol sales to minors, obviously intoxicated patrons, illegal solicitations of alcohol, and other criminal activities like the sale and possession of illegal drugs.

On September 26, 2019, Fortuna Police Officers with assistance from ABC conducted a minor decoy operation where minors under the direct supervision of officers, attempted to buy alcohol from ten retail licensees in the Eel River Valley.  Officers cited two clerks for selling alcohol to minors at two locations, Express Liquors (421 N. Fortuna Blvd, Fortuna) and Hoby’s Market and Deli (111 Main Street, Scotia).

Selling alcohol to a minor comes with a minimum fine of $250, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for the first violation. In addition, ABC will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business. That may include a fine, a suspension of the license, or the permanent revocation of the license.

Fortuna Police conduct the compliance checks to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. Statistics show people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunk driving deaths than other adults. Minor Decoy operations have been conducted in the state since the 1980s. When the program first started more than 40 percent of retail establishments were selling to minors. That rate has dropped to 10 percent or lower in some cities. In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees are complying with the law.

The APP Program has distributed over $20 million to local law enforcement to combat alcohol-related crime.

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