BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                    AB 2121

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          (Without Reference to File)

          2121 (Gonzalez)

          As Amended  August 15, 2016

          Majority vote

          |ASSEMBLY:  |64-11 |(June 2, 2016) |SENATE: |37-2  |(August 17,      |
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          |COMMITTEE VOTE: |17-0 |(August 30,     |RECOMMENDATION:   |concur     |
          |                |     |2016)           |                  |           |
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          Original Committee Reference:  G.O.


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          SUMMARY:  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  

          The Senate amendments:

          1)Define "accredited training provider" to mean either of the  
             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 Alcoholic Beverage  
               Control (ABC) to accredit training providers offering RBS  
               training courses.

          2)Permit 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  
          3)Stipulate that, beginning July 1, 2020, an authorized  
            licensee, the agent or employee of that licensee, or an  
            alcohol server who knowingly and intentionally violates any  
            provision of this bill, shall only be subject to certain ABC  
            Act civil and administrative penalties.

          4)Make technical and clarifying changes.

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, administered by ABC,  


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            regulates the granting of licenses for the manufacture,  
            distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages within the  

          2)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).

          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 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.

          5)Allows ABC to issue licenses and authorizations for the retail  
            sale of beer, wine and distilled spirits on a temporary basis  
            for special events (Special Daily Beer and/or Wine License,  
            Daily On-Sale General License).

          6)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.


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          AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY, this bill established the Responsible  
          Beverage Service Training Program, beginning July 1, 2020.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to Senate Appropriations Committee,  
          ongoing costs of approximately $250,000 per year for initial  
          development, evaluation, testing, and implementation of the RBS  
          Training Program and two analyst positions for establishing the  
          rulemaking process, establishing the credentialing process,  
          establishing the auditing program, preparation of outreach  
          information and Web design for information.  In addition,  
          unknown costs for development of information technology,  
          administrative, and educational structures to support the  
          program.  Costs are expected to decrease over time.   
          Additionally, unknown costs to approve accreditation agencies  
          other than the ANSI.  There is a potential source of revenue for  
          a fee for the review and approval of accreditation agencies;  
          however, it is currently unknown whether any such accreditation  
          agencies other than ANSI exist.  All of the above referenced  
          costs would be to the ABC Fund.


          Purpose of the bill:  According to the author, 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, the agent or  


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          employee of that licensee, or an alcohol server who knowingly  
          and intentionally violates any provision of this bill 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 cannot 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  
          already made the choice to get behind the wheel when they should  
          not.  That is not 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."


          Dram Shop Law:  A dram shop law is a type of statute that 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.


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          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, 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 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  

          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  


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          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%."

          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Eric Johnson / G.O. / (916) 319-2531  FN: