Governor Brown Sends Mixed Message on Youth Alcohol Prevention: Powdered Alcohol Banned, But Free Booze Allowed at Barbershops & Beauty Parlors

From by California Alcohol Policy Alliance
Governor Brown Sends Mixed Message on Youth Alcohol Prevention: Powdered Alcohol Banned, But Free Booze Allowed at...

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Sept. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The California Alcohol Policy Alliance is expressing both gratitude and outrage in response to Governor Brown's inconsistent actions today on new laws dealing with alcohol policy in the state.

On the good side:

  • He signed into law both AB 1554 & SB 819 to ban powdered alcohol in California (the state now becomes the 34th to proactively ban the product)
  • He signed into law AB 2687 making it unlawful for a person who has 0.04 BAC to drive a motor vehicle when a passenger for hire is in the vehicle – this would apply to Uber, Lyft and similar services
  • He signed into law SB 1046 requiring DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices

On the bad side:

  • He signed into law AB 1322 which will allow barbershops and beauty parlors to give away alcohol without a license
  • He vetoed AB 2121 which would have mandated advanced bartender training

"California has put the alcohol industry on notice that we will not tolerate dangerous, youth-oriented products like powdered alcohol now or in the future," stated Thania Balcorta, Co-Chair of California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA). "CAPA is proud to have played a roll in organizing statewide support for the ban."

AB 1554, authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), and SB 819, by Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), prohibit the possession, purchase, sale, offer for sale, distribution, manufacture, or use of powdered alcohol in California and would make the violation of those provisions punishable with a fine.

"We are outraged that the Legislature and Governor through AB 1322 have failed to regulate alcohol consumption at 42,000 beauty salons and barbershops," stated Richard Zaldivar, Co-Chair of CAPA and Founder/Executive Director of the Wall / Las Memorias Project. "We now call upon cities and counties to protect the health and safety of youth by enacting local zoning restrictions and effective police enforcement on salons and barbershops."

California suffers more than $22 billion in alcohol-related harm and 10,000 alcohol-related deaths annually. Alcohol Justice has estimated that the number of venues allowed to serve alcohol in the state could now increase by 41% because the Governor signed AB 1322.  Additional alcohol-related harm is inevitable with increased availability, especially when there is no license required and no enforcement of current alcohol regulations.

"It's unfortunate that Governor Brown vetoed AB 2121," stated Ruben Rodriguez, Executive Director of Pueblo y Salud and Co-Chair of Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance (L.A. DAPA). "The bill that would have addressed bad retailers, with irresponsible alcohol sales and serving practices, by requiring training to prevent harm to the public."

With regard to the signing of SB 1046 into law, "Alcohol Justice applauds MADD and Senator Hill for successfully passing this bill to create a permanent ignition interlock program in California to limit repeat drunk driving," said Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director/CEO of Alcohol Justice. "However, Governor Brown screwed up in signing AB 1322 and vetoing AB 2121. Nevertheless, the California Alcohol Policy Alliance has shown that dozens of organizations working together can make a difference through legislation controlling drunk driving and dangerous products."

Michael Scippa 415 548-0492
Jorge Castillo 213 840-3336 

SOURCE California Alcohol Policy Alliance

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