Earlier this week, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 2486, the Teen Alcohol Safety Act. AB 2486 allows for civil litigation against "social hosts" who serve alcohol to underage individuals. Social hosts include parents, homeowners, or other individuals over 21 who furnish alcohol to underage drinkers who are in their homes.
A Redding, California couple spearheaded AB 2486 after their daughter died from alcohol poisoning at a friend's house. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), over 10% of drunk driving fatalities are caused by teen drinking and driving. In many cases, those teenagers were served alcohol at a home where an adult was present before getting behind the wheel.
Although the new bill removes immunity previously afforded to social hosts, it does not automatically establish liability. Rather, families of those injured or killed must establish negligence occurred. Specifically, those injured must show that the adult or "social host" knowingly furnished alcoholic beverages at his or her residence to a person under 21 years of age.
In a press release Schwarzenegger stated that he was pleased to sign AB 2486 because "parents and adults have a responsibility to protect children and underage youth from alcohol."
As a California personal injury attorney concerned about the safety of California roadways and protecting consumers from harm, I believe this law is necessary and am hopeful that it will help prevent more tragic alcohol-related accidents and deaths.
For more information, please contact the Law Offices of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.
According to Sonoma County's PressDemocrat, the driver of the SUV which led to the tragic bus accident near Fresno was drunk.
Sylvia Lopez Garay had a blood-alcohol level of 0.11. California's legal limit is 0.08.
The accident occurred after Garay's SUV rolled over on Highway 99. Garay and her passengers exited the vehicle, leaving the overturned truck in the fast lane. Witnesses report that the Greyhound bus driver didn't have enough time to react as he approached the overturned vehicle, first crashing into the SUV, then another vehicle, before careening off an embankment and into a large tree.
Although the accident is still under investigation, it appears that drunk driving played a role in this tragedy. In California and across the United States, driver intoxication is a leading cause of accidents. In fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that one person dies every 30 minutes due to an alcohol related crash.
The good news is most California towns are reporting a decrease in DUI accidents as compared to 2009. However a few cities, such as Santa Cruz, report a dramatic increase in DUIs.
As a personal injury attorney concerned about safety on California roadways, I urge you not to drink and drive. For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI accident, please contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.