When it comes to preventing DUIs, the authorities and other public organizations have a number of tools at their disposal. One such tool is simply public awareness. Bars may advertise around a specific holiday or sporting event that a designated driver can drink non-alcoholic beverages and get an appetizer for free. Other establishments may give out discounts for taxis as well as services like Uber or Lyft. An app called Designated Driver VIP or “DDVIP” is available on iPhone and Android to let designated drivers which locations offer which deals. However, raising public awareness costs money and a new law will help raise that money as the Press-Democrat reports.
In 2016, 1,059 people in California were killed in alcohol-related crashes. Statewide, there were more than 35,200 crashes in which alcohol was a factor.
This week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that would raise the fee for renewing alcohol licenses from $5 to $10. The bill also allows spirit makers to offer discounted rides using taxis or services such as Uber and Lyft. Previously, this was restricted to beer manufacturers.
The bill, which was backed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, and AAA of Northern California, passed with almost no opposition.
This is the first increase for license fees in 28 years.
Funds from the increase in the fee will help to fund the Designated Driver Program, a program that was started in 1990. It utilizes social media, television, and billboards to warn the public about the dangers of driving drunk.
Last year, $439,000 was collected for the program. With the fee increases, which will begin in 2019, they expect to have funding for the program surpass $900,000.