The Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced Friday it has received a $100,000 grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control agency to increase enforcement of alcohol-related laws.
According to Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, the department will use the funds to expand its task forces that target crimes related to the sale of alcohol, over-intoxication and narcotics.
The OCSD's $100,000 award is one of 58 such grants awarded statewide to more than 80 law enforcement agencies.
According to the ABC, the grant program, created in 1995, is designed to put bad operators out of business, keep alcohol away from minors and bring penalties such as fines, suspensions or revocations against businesses that violate the law.
“The program improves the quality of life in neighborhoods,” ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith said. “We’ve seen a real difference in the communities where the grant program resources have been invested.”
A recent decoy operation in South Orange County saw 100 percent compliance from businesses, according to the OCSD.
Deputies and ABC agents on Sept. 14 sent underage decoys into stores, bars and restaurants that sell alcohol in unincorporated South Orange County, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Trabuco Canyon and Ladera Ranch.
Deputies did cite one person who saw the underage "customer" denied alcohol and bought it for the decoy.