Shoulder tap (alcohol)

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A shoulder tap is an act in which a minor asks an adult to purchase alcohol for him or her. Typically, the minor will walk around a convenience store and solicit help from a passing adult stranger. This is also commonly known as a "Hey Mister".[citation needed]

A Los Angeles Police Department survey indicated that almost half of minors who attempt to acquire alcohol use this method.[1] Such communities use sting operations to deter adult assistance and promote awareness of the legal consequences of helping minors obtain alcohol.[2]

In 2001, a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) chapter conducted a small unscientific study in Massachusetts, in which teens stood in front of 15 stores and asked 100 adults apparently over the age of 21 to buy them alcohol. Eighty-three of the 100 adults refused and 17 agreed.[3]

In Central Scotland the practice in commonly referred to as a "jump-in".


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  3. ^ "MADD sting shows it's easy for minors to get booze", Boston Herald, May 23, 2001.