During the past month, the Santa Monica Police Department and the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control conducted compliance checks at 59 businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in the City of Santa Monica.

Of 59 businesses checked, 47 — nearly 80 percent — refused to sell alcohol to underage buyers who were working with the Police Department.

Santa Monica police officers and Santa Monica Against Underage Drinking have commended the businesses that demonstrated responsible alcohol sales during the compliance checks.

The 12 businesses that did sell alcohol to underage buyers were issued citations for failing to comply with the state alcohol laws and referred to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Penalties vary but include fines and license suspension or revocation, Santa Monica police say.

“Our Police Department followed standard procedures for conducting compliance checks,” said James T. Butts, Jr., Santa Monica police chief. “As law enforcement officers, we conduct compliance checks because they have been shown to be an effective strategy in reducing underage drinking.

“By themselves, compliance checks will not eliminate youth access to alcohol. But when combined with a comprehensive community approach, they can help keep alcohol out of the hands of kids.”

Information on Santa Monica Against Underage Drinking or the Police Department compliance check program, www.smaud.org