BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION
                              Senator Isadore Hall, III
                                        Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:           AB 2121          Hearing Date:    6/28/2016
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          |Author:    |Gonzalez                                             |
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          |Version:   |6/21/2016    Amended                                 |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
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          |Consultant:|Arthur Terzakis                                      |
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          SUBJECT: Alcoholic beverage control:  Responsible Beverage  
          Service Training Program Act of 2016


            DIGEST:    This bill establishes the Responsible Beverage  
          Service (RBS) Training Program Act of 2016, beginning July 1,  
          2020, that requires an alcohol server, as defined, to  
          successfully complete an RBS training course from an accredited  
          training provider within three months of employment and every  
          three years thereafter.

          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law:
          
          1)Establishes the Department of ABC and grants it exclusive  
            authority to administer the provisions of the ABC Act in  
            accordance with laws enacted by the Legislature.  This  
            involves licensing individuals and businesses associated with  
            the manufacture, importation and sale of alcoholic beverages  
            in this state and the collection of license fees for this  
            purpose. 

          2)Stipulates that no person who sells, furnishes, gives, or  
            causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic  
            beverage shall be civilly liable to any injured person or the  
            estate of such person for injuries inflicted on that person as  
            a result of intoxication by the consumer of such alcoholic  
            beverage.







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          3)Provides that every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or  
            causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic  
            beverage to any habitual or common drunkard or to any  
            obviously intoxicated person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

          4)States a cause of action may be brought by or on behalf of any  
            person who has suffered injury or death against any person  
            licensed, or required to be licensed, as specified, or any  
            person authorized by the federal government to sell alcoholic  
            beverages on a military base or other federal enclave, who  
            sells, furnishes, gives or causes to be sold, furnished or  
            given away any alcoholic beverage, and any other person who  
            sells, or causes to be sold, any alcoholic beverage, to any  
            obviously intoxicated minor where the furnishing, sale or  
            giving of that beverage to the minor is the proximate cause of  
            the personal injury or death sustained by that person.

          5)Defines an "on-sale" license as authorizing the sale of all  
            types of alcoholic beverages: namely, beer, wine and distilled  
            spirits, for consumption on the premises (such as at a  
            restaurant or bar).  An "off-sale" license authorizes the sale  
            of all types of alcoholic beverages for consumption off the  
            premises in original, sealed containers. 

          6)Permits the Department of ABC to issue licenses and  
            authorizations for the retail sale of beer, wine and distilled  
            spirits on a temporary basis for special events.  The most  
            common are as follows: 

             a)   Special Daily Beer and/or Wine License - Authorizes the  
               sale of beer and/or wine for consumption on the premises  
               where sold.  (No off-sale privileges)

             b)   Daily On-Sale General License - Authorizes the sale of  
               beer, wine and distilled spirits for consumption on the  
               premises where sold.  (No off-sale privileges)

             c)   Catering Authorization - Authorizes certain types of  
               licensees (and catering businesses that qualify) to sell  
               beer, wine and distilled spirits for consumption at  
               conventions, sporting events, trade exhibits, picnics,  
               social gatherings, or similar events.

             d)   Event Authorization - Authorizes certain types of  








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               licensees to sell beer, wine and spirits for consumption on  
               property adjacent to the licensed premises and owned or  
               under the control of the licensee. 

             e)   Wine Sales Event Permit - Authorizes wineries to sell  
               bottled wine produced by the winegrower for consumption off  
               the premises where sold and only at fairs, festivals or  
               cultural events sponsored by designated nonprofit  
               organizations.      

          This bill:

          1)Establishes the Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training  
            Program and beginning July 1, 2020, requires alcohol servers,  
            as defined, to complete an RBS training course from an  
            accredited training provider within three months of employment  
            and every three years thereafter. 

          2)Defines "alcohol server" to mean a person who sells or serves  
            alcoholic beverages directly to consumers, or a person who  
            manages or supervises a person who sells or serves alcoholic  
            beverages directly to consumers, including the onsite  
            establishment owner of a licensed facility, for consumption on  
            the premises of a licensed facility that includes, but is not  
            limited to, one-day events, fairs, festivals, sporting events,  
            and other special events. 

          3)Stipulates that the licensee must ensure that those persons  
            required to successfully complete an RBS training course do so  
            and that a current certificate or card provided by any  
            accredited training provider shall be sufficient documentation  
            of successful completion and be accepted statewide.

          4)Defines "accredited training provider" to mean either of the  
            following: (a) A training provider accredited by the American  
            National Standards Institute (ANSI) that meets ASTM  
            International E2659-15 Standard Practice for Certificate  
            Programs or (b) A training provider accredited by an  
            accreditation agency other than ANSI, provided the  
            accreditation agency is authorized by the department of ABC to  
            accredit training providers offering RBS training courses.

          5)Provides that a nonprofit organization that has obtained a  
            temporary daily on-sale license or temporary daily off-sale  
            license from the Department of ABC must designate a person or  








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            persons to receive RBS training before the event and that  
            designated person or those designated persons must remain on  
            site for the duration of the event.

          6)Requires the Department of ABC, on or before January 1, 2020,  
            to establish a list, published on its Internet Web site, of  
            RBS training courses offered by accredited training providers  
            that may be used to fulfill the requirements of this program.

          7)Provides that an RBS training course shall consist of at least  
            four hours of instruction and include certain information  
            (e.g., social impact of alcohol; impact of alcohol on the  
            body; state laws and regulations relating to alcoholic  
            beverage control and driving under the influence; and,  
            intervention techniques).  Also, permits the Department of ABC  
            to establish additional training standards and curricula to be  
            included in an RBS training course.  

          8)Allows RBS training courses to be offered through a  
            trainer-led class and assessment or self-training and  
            assessment and specifies that participants must score 70% to  
            successfully complete the course.  Also, provides that the  
            certificate or card shall be valid for three years from the  
            date of issuance, regardless of whether the alcohol server  
            changes employers during that period.

          9)Provides that at least one RBS training course shall cost a  
            participant no more than $15, inclusive of the certificate or  
            card provided upon successful completion of the training  
            course.  At least one RBS training course must be offered in  
            Spanish.  If no RBS training courses meet these requirements  
            the RBS course requirements shall not apply. 

           10)Permits the Department of ABC to authorize an accreditation  
             agency, in addition to ANSI, to accredit training providers  
             to offer RBS training courses and to collect fees to cover  
             reasonable costs associated with the review and approval of  
             that accreditation agency.

           11)Requires the Department of ABC, beginning January 1, 2019,  
             to include information on the RBS training course  
             requirement, including information on documentation  
             requirements, on license applications and license renewal  
             notices.  Also, requires all licensees, beginning July 1,  
             2020, to maintain and provide upon request all records  








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             necessary to establish compliance with this bill. 

           12)Stipulates that, beginning July 1, 2020, an authorized  
             licensee, or agent or employee of that licensee, who  
             knowingly and intentionally employs an alcohol server that  
             has not completed an RBS training course, shall only be  
             subject to certain ABC Act civil and administrative  
             penalties.

          Background

          Dram Shop Law.  A dram shop law is a type of statute which holds  
          any business establishment strictly liable for selling alcoholic  
          beverages to a person who is obviously intoxicated.  The purpose  
          of dram shop laws is to increase the responsibility of those who  
          make profits by tendering alcoholic beverages to guests.  The  
          word "dram" refers to a British unit of measurement for serving  
          alcohol.  Dram shop laws usually deal with prohibiting alcohol  
          sales to intoxicated persons, but sometimes they may also cover  
          the sale of alcohol to minors, as well as issues with licenses  
          and identification.  Most states have some form of these types  
          of laws, but they vary widely between jurisdictions.

          California's Dram Shop Law specifies that a vendor who provides  
          alcohol to a person 21 years of age or older cannot be held  
          liable for damages if the person then injures someone else, even  
          if the person was obviously intoxicated at the time.  The law  
          states that the consumption of alcohol, not the furnishing of  
          the beverages, is the proximate cause of injuries that an  
          intoxicated person inflicts on another individual, a position  
          that largely eliminates dram shop liability.  Thus, the sale of  
          alcohol by bars, liquor stores and restaurants in California is  
          not considered to be the cause of an automobile accident.

          RBS training programs.  RBS training is not mandatory in  
          California although some cities and counties do require RBS  
          training in order to sell or serve alcoholic beverages at  
          licensed establishments within their jurisdictions.

          Currently, the Department of ABC oversees the Licensee Education  
          on Alcohol and Drugs Program (LEAD) - a free, voluntary  
          prevention and education program for retail licensees, their  
          employees and applicants.  The mission of the LEAD program is to  
          provide high quality, effective and educationally sound training  
          on alcohol responsibility and the law to California retail  








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          licensees and their employees.  The program was initiated in  
          1991 with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.   
          The training classes are offered at a variety of locations  
          throughout the state and include instruction on checking various  
          forms of identification, detecting and preventing illegal  
          activity, reducing liability and much more.  Each training class  
          lasts four hours.  At the conclusion of the class, there is an  
          exam on the material that was covered and each person that  
          fulfills all of the training requirements receives a  
          certificate, via email, certifying that they successfully  
          completed a LEAD training course. 

          Purpose of AB 2121.  This bill will establish an RBS training  
          program that will require alcohol servers, beginning July 1,  
          2020, to obtain certification that they have successfully  
          completed an RBS training course from an accredited training  
          provider within three months of employment and every three years  
          thereafter.  The Department of ABC will be required to develop a  
          list, published on its Web site, of accredited RBS training  
          courses.  Also, both new and renewal applicants for on-sale  
          licenses will be required to provide ABC with documentation that  
          its employees have successfully completed an RBS accredited  
          training course.  Additionally, this bill requires nonprofit  
          organizations that have obtained temporary daily off-sale or  
          on-sale licenses to designate at least one person to receive RBS  
          training prior to the event and that person must stay on site  
          for the duration of the event.  Furthermore, this bill provides  
          that a licensee, or agent or employee of that licensee, who  
          knowingly and intentionally employs an alcohol server that has  
          not completed an RBS training course, shall only be subject to  
          civil and administrative penalties.  

          According to the author's office, "The "National Highway Traffic  
          Safety Administration claims that more than 10,000 people die on  
          our streets every year - the equivalent of one fatality every 51  
          minutes due to drunk driving.  While we can't entirely stop  
          every individual from making bad decisions that put innocent  
          people at risk, we do have a responsibility to intervene when we  
          can.  Unlike 18 other states and the District of Columbia,  
          California does not require responsible beverage server training  
          for those bartenders and restaurant servers who are serving  
          alcohol to customers and are in a unique position to assess and  
          intervene if customers pose a potential threat.  While law  
          enforcement does its best with checkpoints and other  
          enforcement, these approaches only help after someone has  








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          already made the choice to get behind the wheel when they  
          shouldn't. That isn't good enough.  This bill seeks to help  
          individuals who serve alcohol meet their statutory requirement  
          not to serve obviously intoxicated patrons and minors by  
          requiring participation in an RBS training course from an  
          accredited training provider within three months of employment  
          and every three years thereafter.  The ancillary benefit is a  
          reduction in drunk driving."

          FISCAL EFFECT:                 Appropriation:  No    Fiscal  
          Com.:             Yes          Local:          Yes


            SUPPORT:  

          Alcohol Justice
          California Alcohol Policy Alliance
          California Craft Brewers Association
          California Medical Association (sponsor)
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California Society of Addiction Medicine
          County Health Executives Association of California
          Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance
          Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
          Partnership for a Positive Pomona
          SPIRITT Family Services

          OPPOSITION:

          None received
          
          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:    Proponents state that "this legislation  
          establishes a reasonable training requirement.  Eighteen other  
          states and the District of Columbia already require this  
          training.  RBS training provides bartenders and servers with  
          tools to effectively identify when a patron has had too much to  
          drink and how to safely intervene if the patron attempts to get  
          into their car.  Responsible beverage training has been found to  
          increase appropriate server practices, increase refusal to serve  
          obviously intoxicated patrons, and decrease the percentage of  
          intoxicated patrons leaving an establishment.  Three years after  
          Oregon mandated responsible beverage service training, fatal  
          single vehicle nighttime crashes decreased by an estimated 23%."  

          








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