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.
California Assemblyman Jerry Hill recently renewed his call for tough laws against party buses after a young woman fell from a party bus and was killed in a tragic accident near Santa Cruz. The 25-year-old victim was reportedly fighting with another woman on board the bus when their struggles opened a door, causing the victim to fall onto Highway 17, where she was struck and killed. Calling party buses “booze cruises,” Hill asked fellow lawmakers to pass AB 45, the bill he introduced 18 months ago. If passed, the bill would close a loophole in an existing law, which holds chauffeurs responsible for underage drinking in limousines but has no provisions for drivers of party buses.
“The problem is, and the sad part is, that there are those operators who are just in it for a quick buck,” Hill says. “And they will take anybody on a ride and charge them what they can and allow them to do what they want without the responsibility of what can occur.”
Hill claims that if legislators had passed his bill when it was introduced, the tragic death of the Santa Cruz woman could have been avoided. The bill has already been passed in the California Assembly and is under review in the Senate. If passed, the law would subject chauffeurs that allow underage drinking to be fined up to $2,000 for each infraction, with the possibility of losing their driver’s licenses.
Whether this law is passed or not, it won’t change our policy on underage drinking or our approach to guest safety. We have stated many times that a very small minority of Bay Area party bus rental companies are responsible for the vast majority of incidences of drunken and rowdy behavior outside clubs and other locations. We work with other San Francisco party bus services to promote responsible guest policies and keep our guests’ party bus experiences fun and safe. Guest safety is our first priority at all times, and we explain our rules to guests before each rental. If you want to have a memorable San Francisco party bus experience that is safe, fun and affordable, please call us today at NLS Limo at 800-339-8936 to make a reservation for your special occasion.