Charter buses could soon be required to ask whether alcohol will be served upon securing a reservation with customers if a bill authored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, is enacted into law.
Hill on Monday will hold a news conference along with Jody Eaton Iorns, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the parents of a teen killed in San Mateo two years ago in a crash following hours of drinking on a “booze cruise” bus to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
Hill will urge the Legistature to approve Assembly Bill 45, which would close a loophole in current law that holds limousine operators, but not charter buses, responsible for underage drinking.
Under the legislation, bus companies must notify the person making the reservation that they need to designate an adult chaperone. Bus drivers will be subject to a fine of $2,000, license suspension or revocation, or a misdemeanor if they do not comply. Chaperones also will be subject to a misdemeanor for providing alcohol to a minor.
Brett Studebaker, 19, died on Feb. 6, 2010, when he crashed his car into a sound wall on Highway 101 near San Mateo after spending hours drinking with friends on a charter bus.
Authorities later determined he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26, more than three times the limit for drivers who can legally drink.
The news conference will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in the 1200 block of Polk Street in San Francisco.
A two-block stretch in San Francisco of Polk Street -- where party buses often unload their passengers -- has become a mecca for party buses and underage drinking, according to Hill's office.