Assembly Bill 45
We have written about California’s new party bus law in previous posts, but since we are nearing the end of 2012 and the law goes into effect on Jan. 1, now seems like a good time to remind readers about it. The new law, formally known as Assembly Bill 45, closes a loophole in an existing law regarding underage drinking on party buses. Laws prohibiting underage consumption of alcohol in limousines have been on the books for many years. However, because party buses are a newer type of luxury transportation, there were no laws expressly prohibiting minors from drinking alcohol on these luxury vehicles.
A bill introduced recently in the California legislature would require San Francisco party bus operators and others throughout the state to check the identification of anyone coming aboard the bus or face steep fines. Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, introduced Assembly Bill 45 in 2010 after a tragic incident involving an inebriated 19-year-old man who allegedly got drunk while riding in a Bay Area party bus. After the party bus rental was over, the man got into his car and caused an accident in which he was killed. If passed, the bill will close a loophole that allows some limousine services to allow underage guests to drink alcohol while riding in the party van.
“This is essentially booze cruises on wheels,” Hill said recently during an appearance on Polk Street, home to several popular clubs that frequently attract party buses and revelers.
The law would require all party bus rental companies to verify that each guest is 21 or older before boarding the vehicle. If a minor is on board, he or she must be accompanied by a chaperone older than 25, and there can be no alcoholic beverages. Party bus operators who fail to follow regulations would face fines up to $2,000 and lose their licenses.
“This is about holding party buses accountable,” Hill said. “These buses have become a problem for businesses and owners.”
Last month, we featured a blog post about San Francisco club owners and other business owners who organized a ban on party buses at their establishments. They filed a complaint with the San Francisco Entertainment Commission regarding drunken and unruly crowds being dropped off by party buses and causing problems in their businesses and neighborhoods. Like many other San Francisco limousine services that rent party buses, we feel that the club owners, city officials and lawmakers have a legitimate complaint. There are a few operators in the Bay Area who use the current loophole in the law and allow underage guests to drink aboard their vehicles. They cast our company and the other ethical and responsible Bay Area limo companies in a bad light.
Whether the law passes or not, our position on underage drinking will not change. We want all our guests to have a wonderful time while they enjoy our party buses, limo buses and other luxury vehicles, but we do not allow any guests less than 21 years of age to drink alcohol. We take the safety of all our guests very seriously, and this policy has been in place from the very beginning. If we sound like the type of San Francisco party bus service you would like transporting you and your guests to an upcoming special occasion, please call us at NLS Limo today at 800-339-8936.