The governor has signed a California bill prompted by the tragic deaths of two UC San Diego medical students, that will require bartenders to receive DUI prevention training.
Two years ago, a couple UCSD medical students remembered as bright and promising future doctors were killed when a suspected drunk driver struck their vehicle head on while traveling the wrong way on State Route 163.
Governor Jerry Brown finalized the legislation Sunday night. The bill, AB 1221, was authored by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) with help from the victims' classmates in the wake of the 2015 alleged drunk-driving crash.
“The purpose of this law is simple: to help educate bartenders about how to serve alcohol responsibly and how to recognize when a customer’s had enough to drink,” Gonzalez Fletcher said, in a statement.
The new law requires bartenders and servers to get mandatory training on alcohol responsibility. The training will cover a variety of topics, including the legal obligations of their employer, how to avoid over-serving customers and ways to spot other similar issues. The training is now a state requirement.
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Similar mandatory training was already in place for other local governments, according to Gonzalez Fletcher's office.
UCSD students Anne Li Baldock, 24, and Madison Elizabeth Cornwell, 23, died on May 16, 2015, and three other students were also injured in Mission Valley. Although the driver was warned by friends and bar staff not to drive, he still ended up behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol level of .14.
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Witnesses testified the defendant, Jason Riley King, was asked several times not to drive when he appeared in court. The U.S. Marine was accused of two counts of murder among other charges at his arraignment.
Classmates of the victims worked with Gonzalez Fletcher to create this new law, as a way to better equip those who serve alcohol to prevent drunk driving before tragedy strikes.
“This law will mean fewer drunk drivers on the road, which will reduce the risk of future tragedies," added Gonzalez Fletcher.
The bill passed the Senate 35-3 on Sept. 7 and the Assembly 69-3 on Sept. 11.