Do ABC Liquor Licensees have rights when it comes to selling to a police decoy and or minor and what police requirements must be met to file an ABC accusation?

If you get cited for selling to a police decoy or sales to a minor, you have rights and certain requirements must be met, if not, your case may and can be dismissed.


A law enforcement agency may only use a person under the age of 21 to attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages to apprehend licensees or employees or agents of licensees who sell alcoholic beverages to minors.

The following minimum standards shall apply to all actions filed pursuant to Business and Practices codes section 25658 in which it is alleged that a minor decoy has purchased an alcoholic beverage:

1. At the time of the operation, the decoy shall be less than 20 years of age.

2. The decoy shall display the appearance which could generally be excepted of a person under 21 years of age, under the actual circumstances presented to the seller of alcoholic beverages at the time of the alleged offense;

3. A decoy shall either carry his or her own identification showing the decoys

correct date of birth or shall carry no identification; a decoy who carries identification shall present it upon request to any seller of alcoholic beverages;

4. A decoy shall answer truthfully any questions about his or her age.

5. Following any completed sale, but not later than the time a citation, if any, is

issued, the peace officer directing the decoy shall make a reasonable attempt to

enter the licensed premises and have the minor decoy who purchased alcoholic

beverages to make a face to face identification of the alleged seller of the

alcoholic beverages.

Failure to comply with this rule shall be a defense to any action brought pursuant to Business and Practices Code Section 25658