New bill helps bars across California stop drinking and driving

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Assembly Bill 711 is making some changes to an old bill that prevented liquor establishments from giving away free services to alcohol purchasers. (KFSN)

A new year means some new rules for bars across California, come Monday morning a new bill will change the way bars handle drinking and driving. SB 711 is loosening the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, allowing alcohol sellers and manufacturers to offer free and discounted rides home.

While this may be a new bill, bartender at Elliott's bar Melody Moore said it's common sense.

"I think that we should all do that," said Moore. "It is the responsibility of anyone that works in a bar, but it is also the customer's responsibility."

Moore said they see hundreds of customers a day and when someone gets a little tipsy they make sure they get home safely.

"We have always made sure that our customers get home safely, whether it be using our own Uber or Lyft app to get them home. Sometimes we have even given some of our regulars a ride home," said Moore.

The reason this rule wasn't established in the past was because of old laws that prevented sellers from giving free goods or gifts to alcohol consumers. With the new bill, all bars must offer the service up front and not with the purchase of an alcoholic beverage.

With many DUI crashes in Fresno, this year Moore said this new bill will help reduce tragedies.

"We want to promote having a good time, but also don't take the risk, it is not worth it and we see a lot of things at the bar that we try to prevent," said Moore.
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