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Grant aids Sheriff’s Office in crackdown of underage drinking

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The Placer County Sheriff’s Office now has more resources in the fight against underage drinking and alcohol sales to minors. According to Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control recently awarded the Sheriff’s Office a $40,000 grant to help combat these issues. Erwin said the grant will assist in providing awareness and training in alcohol-related crimes and their impact on schools, parents and students in the local community. According to Erwin, anyone who sells or furnishes alcohol to a minor faces a fine of $250 and up to 24 hours of community service. If it is a business, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control can take administrative action on the business’ alcoholic beverage license, impose a fine on the business or both. The Sheriff’s Office conducted a Minor Decoy Operation recently in Loomis, Penryn and Granite Bay, sending a 19-year-old into 20 businesses to see if any of them would sell the decoy alcohol. As a result, Kenneth Dowdy, of Loomis, was cited for selling alcohol to a minor at the AM/PM in Granite Bay at 8555 Auburn Folsom Road, Erwin said. Erwin said the Sheriff’s Office will “aggressively” continue these types of enforcement projects in the future. The Sheriff’s Office will be offering Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs, or LEAD, classes throughout the year for retail licensees, their employees and applicants. The classes are a free, voluntary prevention and education program, Erwin said. Anyone interested in participating in the classes can call (530) 308-1552 or e-mail lbettenc@placer.ca.gov. ~Staff report