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Agencies, ABC partner to prevent crime at public events

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) actively works with local law enforcement agencies across California to conduct special events operations at concerts, festivals, and sporting events to help licensees stay in compliance and reduce crime.

Venues and festivals interested in selling alcohol must be licensed by ABC. The department collaborates with local law enforcement to ensure licensed premises are safe and operating in accordance with the law.

“Our goal is to help create a safe environment for all attendees by preventing underage drinking and illegal alcohol sales that can lead to serious public safety risks,” said ABC Director Joseph McCullough. “ABC’s partnership with local law enforcement agencies is an essential component to the success of these operations.”

The most common violations ABC finds during special event operations include fake identification, minors in possession of alcohol, adults furnishing alcohol to minors, and vendors illegally selling alcohol without a license. ABC agents patrolling these events often cite individuals caught committing these violations.

Illegal alcohol sales pose a public safety concern, as many do not check ID, and potentially take away business from ABC licensees who are operating in accordance with the law. The department also encourages licensees to prevent driving under the influence and check identifications closely to prevent underage drinking.

Underage drinking has numerous negative effects and is the main contributing factor in vehicle collisions for persons between the ages of 16 to 20.

In 2024, ABC agents and local law enforcement have conducted 32 special event operations at concerts, festivals, and sporting events. Agents arrested or cited more than 350 individuals at events for various violations, including minors in possession of fake IDs, minors in possession of alcoholic beverages, alcohol sales without a license, and various health and safety code violations.

Funding for this enforcement is supplemented by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

ABC protects communities through education and by administering prevention and enforcement programs designed to increase compliance with California’s alcoholic beverage laws. To learn more about programs that help promote public safety and prevent alcohol-related harm, visit the ABC enforcement programs or ABC prevention programs pages on the department’s website.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is the agency of the government of the state of California charged with the regulation of alcoholic beverages. ABC’s mission is to provide the highest level of service and public safety to the people of California through licensing, education, and enforcement. ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.