Undercover teens help cops catch adults buying alcohol for minors
The number of series drunk driving accidents has been skyrocketing, and Metro Police say an alarming number of drivers are under the legal drinking age.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The number of serious drunk driving accidents has been skyrocketing and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department say an alarming number of drivers are under the legal drinking age.
Now, they're using a federal grant to set up a special sting designed to make it harder for minors to get alcohol.
We're getting close to the start of summer when teenagers typically have a lot more time on their hands. And more time can lead to trouble.
That's where Operation Shoulder Tap comes in. It's a tool Las Vegas police use to enforce underage drinking laws.
Here's how it works: Teen volunteers go undercover and ask adults outside of businesses to buy them alcohol.
"They don't try to trick them -- they let them know they're not 21 and that they have money," said Officer Thomas Clevenger.
The teens hang out near the store entrance, asking strangers to buy them booze inside.
"Hey, do you mind if you could buy me a six pack of Coronas, and I'll hand you the money?" one undercover teen asks.
More than 10 people turned down the teens' request to go inside and buy them alcohol. Then, they found someone willing to do it. After a short conversation, the money for booze was handed over.
"When they come out, that's when we apprehend them," said Officer Clevenger.
After being taken into police custody, Rick Cody Genier was willing to talk about why he bought the alcohol for a minor.
"Honestly, when they first approached me, I was just like, 'Okay, well maybe they didn't have their ID. I'll do it. I'm 22, 23, I'll do it for you guys,'" Genier said. "I just didn't know."
He says he'll never purchase alcohol for minors again.
"Live and learn -- life lessons," Genier said.
Making that lesson resonate with more people is what officers are aiming for.
Rick Cody Genier received a citation. It's considered a misdemeanor and he'll have to face a judge to resolve it.