Last week four people were cited after buying alcohol for a 19-year-old decoy, according to a news release from the Redlands Police Department.
The teenage female volunteer stood outside four businesses on Colton Avenue, Orange Street and Redlands Boulevard from 7 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. As people entered the store, she offered to give them money so they could buy her beer. Four people agreed and bought beer for the teen decoy, and they were cited and released. The beer was returned to the businesses for a refund.
The four people cited include: Charles Braithwaite, 23, of Redlands; Sawako Wakimoto, 26, of Redondo Beach; Tony Tovar, 22, of Redlands; and Vance Clark, 50, who is transient.
The enforcement effort, known as a “shoulder tap operation,” is part of a $23,714 grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The Redlands City Council approved the grant in July so police officers could conduct undercover operations targeting anyone who provides alcohol to minors—businesses that over-serve alcohol, provide narcotics and allow the use of false identifications.
The grant funding, which runs until June, will also pay for educational efforts at local schools, officer overtime and equipment purchases. Details of the grant are available online.
its press release, the Redlands Police Department contends that local binge and underage drinking has “reached critical levels.”
Below are some statistics from the department:
- Redlands has one of the highest percentages (67 percent) in San Bernardino County of DUI arrestees who identify an establishment—typically a bar or restaurant verses a private residence or other location—as the place where they most recently consumed alcohol (Place of Last Drink survey: Special Report,County of San Bernardino, Alcohol and Drug Services, 2012). A small number of establishments (10) account for a majority (67 percent) of those arrested for DUI from Redlands (Place of Last Drink survey: Special Report, County of San Bernardino, Alcohol and Drug Services, 2012).
- Thirty eight percent of San Bernardino County TRACE cases involved underage drinking at a house party; four of these resulted in fatalities (Target Responsibility for Alcohol Connected Emergencies). Between 2009 and 2010, 55 percent of 11th graders in Redlands said it was “very easy” to obtain alcohol, according to the California Healthy Kids Survey. In 2009, 1,466 youth under 21 were discharged from San Bernardino County emergency rooms with alcohol in their system. (California Department of Public Health’s EpiCenter).
- There were 721 injury collisions and 36 deaths primarily due to intoxication in 2011 in the County of San Bernardino (CHP, Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System). In Redlands, there were 18 injury collisions due to intoxication in 2011 (CHP, Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System).
Anyone who suspects an alcohol-related violation can call (909) 798-7681. Anonymous tips can also be provided by texting 274637 using the keyword “REDTIP.”