New law to boost funding for DUI prevention program

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Subscribe

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will double the funding for a CHP program that discourages drunken drivers from getting behind the wheel of a car.

Restaurants, bars and other businesses throughout California that sell alcohol will fund the increase, paying a $10 surcharge when renewing their alcoholic beverage licenses beginning in 2019. Currently, the surcharge is $5.

Money collected from the surcharge goes to the Designated Driver Program, a CHP project started in 1990 that uses TV advertising, billboards and social media outreach to warn the public against driving drunk.

In 2016, 1,059 people throughout the state died as a result of DUI crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

The California Attorney General’s Office reported more than 35,200 alcohol-related crashes statewide the same year.

Authored by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and signed by the governor Saturday, the legislation also will allow spirit makers to offer free or discounted rides through taxis or other ride services, such as Lyft or Uber. Previously, only beer manufacturers had that right.

The bill passed the Senate floor with almost no opposition and was backed by the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, AAA of Northern California and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“There hasn’t been an increase (in the surcharge) in 28 years and our supporters were asking for more money to do public outreach, which makes sense,” said Paul Payne, a spokesman for Dodd.

Last year, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which issues the alcohol licenses, collected about $439,000 for the program, according to a bill analysis. Annual funding for the program is expected to surpass $900,000 now that the bill is signed into law.

You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or nashelly.chavez@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @nashellytweets.

Show Comment

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine