New Law Enacted To Help Bars Stop Drunk Driving

When it comes to preventing drunk driving after a night tying one on, there is always the option of having a designated driver. For some, this might not be a viable option, so the next best person to know if someone should drive home is the bartender or server. In the wake of the deaths of two UC San Diego students, a new law was introduced to ensure bartenders and server get training to prevent drunk driving, as NBC Los Angeles reports.

On May 15, 2015, two University of California San Diego medical students were tragically killed. The accident occurred when 21-year-old Jason Riley King, a Marine, drove on the wrong side of State Route 163 and collided head-on with a Toyota Prius carrying 24-year-old Anne Li Baldock and 23-year-old Madison Elizabeth Cornwell. King was later found to have had a blood-alcohol content of .14, almost two times the legal limit.

King is facing two counts of murder after testimony stating that both friends and staff members urged him not to drive. He also attended drunk driving classes prior to the accident that also injured three others.

In the wake of this tragedy, AB 1221, which was authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, was submitted to the legislature for a vote. It passed the state Senate 35-3 on September 7 and the Assembly 69-3 on September 11.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on October 16th.

The purpose of the new law is to ensure that bartenders and servers all get mandatory training on alcohol responsibility. Bartenders and servers will receive training on the legal obligations of their employers, avoiding over-serving customers, and how to spot similar issues. The law now makes the training a state requirement.

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