Law enforcement in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County has been granted funding to continue the fight against underage drinking. The efforts are to reduce the amount of alcohol related accidents, fatalities and crimes in the area. This initiative is to further educate the public about the dangers involved with selling alcohol to minors.
The way the operation works is, you will be approached by a minor in the parking lot of a convenience or grocery store. You will be asked to purchase alcoholic beverages for the minor. Once the transaction is complete, the police officers will be waiting there to issue you a citation. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or up to a $1000 fine. In this area the fines are averaging about $650 per citation.
At first blush it may seem that this is entrapment by the police officer. This is not so, in that they have not induced you to do something that you would have volitionally not done on your own free will. ie. They have not bribed you or forced you to buy alcohol for someone who seems to be a minor. Even if the individual does not say he is a minor, the legal standard is that you should have known, thus that makes you legally liable for purchasing or contributing to the delinquency of minors.
So what did we learn from this exercise by the police? We learned that you never, under any circumstance or situation, agree to do something for somebody else that could potentially lead to your legal detriment.
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