As Mammoth and Mono
County lobby for additional liquor licenses, the State Department of
Alcohol and Beverage Control ran a sting or decoy operation in the
Eastern Sierra over the weekend. The results were not good.
A minor with underage identification was sent into stores, bars and
restaurants across the region on Saturday, attempting to buy alcohol.
Armando Gonzales with the ABC reports that 7 of 14 businesses tested in
Mammoth, sold to the underage decoy. Inyo County faired better, 7 of 26
businesses between Olancha and Bishop are alleged to have sold to the
Henneseys, Five Burroughs Pizza, Old New York Bagel, Clock Tower
Cellar, Vons, Country Liquor and Deli, and the Shell at 3011 Main
Street reportedly all received citation. In Inyo County, the businesses
that received citations were the Pearsonville Shell, Coso Junction,
Olancha Mobil, Lone Pine Drug, the Big Pine 76, High Country Market in
Big Pine, and the Vons in Bishop.
Its not just the businesses, the person who sells to a minor can also be fined or face community service.
Armando Gonzales says they try to make the decoy operation as fair as
possible, with a young looking decoy that answers all questions
truthfully and carries a real ID. Gonzales reports that some businesses
checked the ID while others did not. Some checked and sold anyway he
The ABC official said that the high number of alleged violations in
Mammoth was unfortunate and possibly due the fact that with an office
in Bakersfield, they only run this type of operation in the area about
once a year.
Currently State Senator Dave Cox is working push 10 additional liquor
licenses for Mono County through the state legislature. Armando
Gonzales did not think that this one operation would have an effect on
the decision makers in Sacramento.