Alcohol-related offenses, including DUI and public intoxication, require the consumption of alcohol beyond California’s legal limit of .08%. Since many indulge in Los Angeles’s nightlife, bartenders and restaurants are responsible for serving people drinks, often without much attention paid to what people are capable of handling. Lawmakers have seen enough death and jail overcrowding to know that it is time to fight the DUI battle at its source – the servers of alcohol.
California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control agency, in charge of alcohol policy and licensure, has released free training videos accessible by anyone who serves alcoholic beverages. Designed to teach bars, restaurants, and wineries responsible alcoholic beverage serving, educating servers and managers on laws and DUI prevention may decrease DUIs and the destruction they cause.
Fewer DUI injuries and deaths could mean fewer lawsuits against alcohol establishments.
DUI Injuries Rising, Arrests Close Behind
California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported 17,605 injuries in 2015, an increase of 783 over 2014’s documented injuries. Injuries were not the only action CHP seen; during 2017’s Christmas travel, 900 DUI-related arrests were made and 27 deaths occurred. This rise in alcohol-related arrests and injuries means more resources are needed to house, process and supervise defendants in DUI cases.
ABC hopes statistics like these will lessen over time if establishment owners and servers commit to the video series.
Participants will learn about various laws, fines associated with serving to underage consumers, how to spot and report illegal drug activity on their premises, and when to stop serving persons who appear overly intoxicated. Serving underage consumers can cost bars, wineries, and restaurants their alcohol licenses, not to mention fines between $750 and $20,000 per incident. Although the ABC has targeted those directly involved with sales and distribution of alcohol, anyone is welcome to view the video lessons.
Alcohol is not the only mind-altering substance causing DUI crashes.
Drugs are Also Charged as DUIs
Under California code, any substance that impairs the operation of motorized vehicles can be charged as DUI. This includes methamphetamines, marijuana, opioids, and anything else. Although alcohol is the only substance with a predetermined limit, other drugs have no numeric value that law enforcement can use to gauge impairment.
One California company hopes to change that, having developed a dual-use breathalyzer test that can detect marijuana level, then alcohol consumption. However, any DUI attorney could object to the use of such equipment as drug effects can sometimes last for days. Moreover, proving one particular drug caused an accident is difficult to litigate beyond alcohol.
Participants in ABC’s video training will learn about how drugs work and will learn how various body language and actions could mean certain drugs have been consumed. This will prevent establishments from serving patrons and allow accurate reporting to law enforcement.
By 2021, all establishments that serve alcohol will be required to take an ABC-approved course in response to state laws recently passed.
Penalties for DUI arrests are severe, with loss of driving privileges and heavy fines imminent. Do not throw time and resources at ineffective counsel – contact James E. Blatt’s office immediately to mount a rigorous defense of your DUI charges.
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