California Bill Will Require DUI Prevention Training for Bartenders
A California bill that is awaiting the governor’s signature would require DUI prevention training for bartenders. According to an NBC news report, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) authored the bill after the tragic deaths of two UC San Diego medical students who were killed in a wrong-way crash with a drunk driver. In that case, the driver had clearly drank too much at an establishment where he continued to be served, officials said.
What the Law Would Do
Gonzalez said the friends of the UCSD medical students played a crucial role in creating the bill. The students said they hoped to prevent further DUI deaths by pushing for this law. The legislation basically offers a way to better equip those who serve alcohol and help them understand ways to intervene before a drunk driver can even get behind the wheel. The law helps those who work in establishments such as bars and restaurants to identify and understand ways in which to intervene before a drunk driver gets behind the wheel.
The bill would require mandatory training on alcohol responsibility for bartenders and servers. The training, a state requirement, would cover a range of topics such as the employer’s legal obligations, how to stop serving customers who are drunk and how to spot problematic customers. In Oregon, a similar program helped decrease drunk driving and lawmakers are hoping that will happen in California as well. The bill passed in the Assembly and Senate by a wide margin. It now heads to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for final approval.
What Can Bartenders Do?
The role of bartenders and waiters can be pretty significant when it comes to preventing a tragedy. There are many things responsible bartenders can do. They could offer to call a family member, friend, taxi or rideshare to get the customer home safely. They should never be afraid to call the police if necessary. It is also a good idea to have taxi services available and ready at the parking lot of the establishment so it is never difficult to find one. They should stop serving the guest if they need to be cut off and before they become intoxicated. It also helps to offer an appetizer or a meal with high fat content, which would allow more time for the customer to sober up.
Above all, it is important for each and everyone of us to be responsible and do the right thing by calling a cab or designating a driver. Driving drunk puts not just the driver but others on the roadway in peril. In addition to facing criminal penalties, drunk drivers can also be held civilly liable for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Hopefully, this new law will help prevent drunk driving deaths in California.