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Drunk deputy? Sting pinpoints liquor stores that sell alcohol to the intoxicated

April 23, 2011 |  8:02 am

Public intoxication has long been a problem in the beach cities of Encinitas and Solana Beach in northern San Diego County.

To find out who was selling liquor to those who were clearly intoxicated, the Sheriff's Department did a bit of undercover play-acting with the help of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

A sheriff's deputy in regular clothing, staggering, slurring his speech and doused in alcohol, went into 10 beach-area stores Friday night looking to buy liquor.

In eight of the 10 locations, clerks didn't hesitate to sell additional alcohol to the faux drunk. Enter an ABC employee, who warned the clerk that what he was about to do was against the law.

No citations were issued. Next time, citations and fines may be imposed, and the store could be in danger of losing its liquor license.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego