Sheriff's Cruiser.
Sheriff’s Cruiser.

Deputies pretending to be obviously drunk visited eight liquor stores in East County, and were successful in buying additional alcohol at three of them, sheriff’s deputies reported Sunday.

Selling alcohol to obvious drunks is a misdemeanor crime, but the decoy program was for educational purposes and no stores were cited.

The eight outlets were in Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego and Jamul.

Deputies were operating under the sheriff’s drunk decoy program, an educational effort which uses undercover operatives who smell of alcohol, stumble, slur their speech, drop items, etc. to test whether store clerks will still sell them alcohol illegally.

If clerks the sale is made, deputies and state Alcohol Beverage Control agents entered the store to explain why alcohol shouldn’t have been sold to the decoy.

In July, sheriff’s received a $100,000 ABC grant to be used in communities patrolled to help fight alcohol-related crimes and educate businesses. Similar operations will continue through the end of the year, deputies said.

City News Service