Bill Requiring Drunk Driving Prevention Training for Bartenders Is Sent to Governor’s Desk

Monday, September 11, 2017

Legislation Inspired by San Diego Tragedy Would Require Responsible Beverage Service

SACRAMENTO  – (Monday, Sept. 11, 2017) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) won final approval from the state Legislature of her bill requiring bartenders to receive training that will help reduce drunk-driving accidents and other alcohol-related problems. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

AB 1221 passed the Assembly 51-1 after passing the Senate by a 35-3 margin on Sept. 7.                                                                                                                                                                                                              
“Drunk driving kills thousands of people a year and this bill will make our roads safer,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said. “By getting the right training, bartenders are in a better position to protect the public, their customers and their employers. Everyone benefits.”

In May 2015, two UC San Diego medical students were killed by a wrong-way drunk driver in the Mission Valley area of San Diego. The drunk driver was leaving a local restaurant when he went the wrong way on State Route 163 and caused the collision that killed two and injured three other students. In the wake of the accident, classmates of the victims have worked with Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher and her office to develop legislation that would better equip servers to identify signs of overconsumption and intervene before tragedy strikes.

Emulating similar laws in 18 states and the District of Columbia, the bill requires that bartenders and servers receive mandatory training on alcohol responsibility. Such training would help bartenders know the legal obligations of their employer; avoid over-serving customers; and spot other potential problems. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has a free Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD), and many local governments have made this training mandatory. AB 1221 makes this training a requirement throughout the state.

For more information on this issue or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher, contact Alex Roth at 619-228-3253.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County, including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City. She serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, and Vice Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. For more information on Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher visit https://a80.asmdc.org/