Drunk decoy operation targets stores in Escondido, San Marcos

5 of 8 stores sold to person posing drunk

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - Five North County businesses in Escondido and San Marcos were caught selling alcohol to an undercover agent pretending to be a stumbling drunk on Friday, and warned not to do that again.

Sheriff's deputies, Escondido police officers and agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control conducted the undercover operation between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., the sheriff's department said.

Undercover agents entered eight unspecified businesses with liquor licenses, and tried to buy alcohol while stumbling, slurring speech and smelling of alcohol, the sheriff's department said.

Five of the eight establishments sold the undercover officers’ alcohol, which is a misdemeanor in California to sell alcohol to someone who is obviously drunk, the sheriff's department said.

No enforcement action will be taken, sheriff's deputies said. Clerks who sold the alcohol were given an explanation about state liquor license laws.

The sheriff's department called the operation educational, and said that similar operations will continue the rest of the year. The operation was part of a $100,000 grant to the Sheriff's department and $60,000 grant to the Escondido Police Department from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

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