Deputies Play Drunk to Bust IB Shopkeepers

A deputy acting and smelling intoxicated attempted to buy alcohol from local establishments.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department conducted a “drunk decoy” detail in Imperial Beach Saturday to see if businesses that sell alcohol would sell to a deputy posing as an intoxicated customer.

The deputy was sprayed with alcohol and acted drunk as he entered the businesses and attempted to buy alcohol. Of the 11 businesses that were visited, six sold alcohol to the decoy, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Plain-clothes deputies re-entered the establishments and contacted the employees that sold alcohol to the decoy, but no citations were issued. The employees were given handouts and advice on spotting intoxicated customers.

Agents from Alcoholic Beverage Control assisted in the detail, which was funded by a $100,000 grant from ABC.   

The detail also visited businesses in Bonita. The names of the businesses targeted were not released by the Sheriff’s Department.

cynthia ellen hites December 09, 2012 at 03:58 AM
$100,000 for that little experiment seems a little drastic to me!
Libi Uremovic December 09, 2012 at 04:37 AM
we know it's not illegal to sell to someone that's pretending to be drunk.... but is it illegal to sell to someone if they're actually drunk, but walking home and not driving?
Brash Brazen December 09, 2012 at 07:24 AM
Another irrational use of our dwindling law enforcement resources,if we have enough deputies & ABC agents for this stupidity we haven't laid enough of them off !!!
Shorebird December 09, 2012 at 02:57 PM
and we know they are just pretending to be drunk because? A walking drunk can be just as much of a hazard as a driving drunk and more trouble. These are the ones that urinate on sidewalks, decide to direct traffic, walk into the wrong house or try to break in because they think they are locked out of their own home. Ask a waitress or bartender or shop clerk. I will guarantee you there are plenty of liquor stores in IB that will sell to persons clearly inebriated, I've seen it happen.
Kelly Tracy December 09, 2012 at 04:43 PM
They did the same thing just a few years ago at the same locations and there still giving training handouts and no tickes?????????
JOhn December 09, 2012 at 04:45 PM
It's called being proactive on a law enforcement front. If you read the article it said they conducted the operation from a grant money, most likely from a non-profit. Someone walking home can cause problems just ask the idiot who was so drunk that he broke into the wrong house and got naked and then proceeded to get the living shit kicked out of home a few months back. He was lucky the homeowner did not have a gun. We have a huge drinking problem in this country and anything Law Enforcement can do to help with the problem is OK with me. If you asked me the owner's should have been fined they know the law, ABC have classes every few months that are required for bartenders and other who serve alcohol and they just has one in September so I think they got off easy.
Kelly Tracy December 09, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The Sheriff's department did the same thing a few years ago at the same locations and there still giving training handout and no tickets-------why?????
Libi Uremovic December 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM
because it's not illegal to sell booze to a actor/cop...it's a big waste of money and i don't know why anyone would assume the stunt was believable... there's usually a number of reports of drunk in public charges on the police blotter every week....the practical approach would be for the sheriffs to check for a receipt when they pick up drunks - then go to the location where the booze was sold and issue a fine/citation... no extra tax payer funding needed.....
Libi Uremovic December 09, 2012 at 11:17 PM
no, grant money isn't 'most likely non-profit'...it's federal tax dollars.... federal tax dollars come out of the tax payer pocket right here in ib... we have hemorrhaging federal debt...cutting off the numerous federal grants for worthless projects like this is exactly what needs to be cut...
Kelly Tracy December 10, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I don't believe anyone on here was condoning the money spent on this, regardless of where the money comes from the point is the businesses have ongoing training for their personnel they know better and yet they still break the law and it is sad to see you seem to think it's OK to keep selling alcohol to intoxicated people.
Bong Sativa December 10, 2012 at 03:05 AM
This is just another reason more & more people have less & less respect for the law & those sworn to enforce it everyday !
Libi Uremovic December 10, 2012 at 02:43 PM
the store owners didn't sell booze to intoxicated people kelly... they didn't break any laws.... the only 'goal' was to waste tax payer dollars and run up more debt on a federal level... if you want money spent of worthless 'activities' then contact your representatives and tell them to raise your taxes on a local, state, and federal level to pay for it... each one of these 'feel good' programs end up costing millions from creation to implementation....most of it's federal money so it's all on credit cards.... what was this effort really 'worth' to you kelly? $1,000 out of your pocket....$5,000 out of your pocket....is there a limit to how much money is wasted in the name of 'feel good'...? our store owners are struggling ...i'd like to see my tax dollars go to helping the small business owner, not trying to discrete them and shut them down...
Paula Winchester December 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I'm with Libi on this one Kelly. They can give a ticket to someone pretending to be drunk because he WASN'T drunk. They know that if challenged on it in court the judge would throw it out. It's a waste of money and a shame to target our local businesses struggling in this economy. Use the money where it's needed, this was not only a waste of money but also a waste of time!
Paula Winchester December 10, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I meant to say they can't give a ticket.
Paul Dykes December 10, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I bet every single one of these keystone kops is on overtime, before the "mission" even started. Ya know, wink wink, it's Christmastime, everyone needs a little extra money. That's called theft and fraud. When done on a departmental level, I would apply the RICO act. Seriously. And no, I'm not afraid to put my name.
Miriam Iosupovici December 12, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Just as I was reading these comments, a notice appeared from PATCH to the right of the article ab the 2 DUI suspects injuring people in IB. I don't think this 'drunk detail' is simply a 'feel good' action: it is potentially preventative, BUT there obviously should be more than a warning issued. The amount of money spent on the negative outcomes of our legally sanctioned drug, alcohol, is staggering.


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