Bill Requiring Drunk Driving Prevention Training for Bartenders Sent to Governor's Desk

The legislation was inspired by the tragic deaths of two UC San Diego medical students two years ago.

A California bill that would require drunk driving prevention training for bartenders is heading to the governor's desk. 

The legislation was inspired by the tragic deaths of two UC San Diego medical students two years ago. 

Anne Li Baldock, 24, and Madison Elizabeth Cornwell, 23, were killed on May 16, 2015 when a suspected drunk driver -- who had been warned by friends and bar staff not to drive -- struck their car while driving the wrong way on State Route 163. Three other students were also injured. 

A U.S. Marine was charged with murder in the deaths. At a preliminary hearing, witnesses testified the defendant was warned several times not to drive before he got behind the wheel.

They also said the Marine completed two military-sponsored courses against the dangers of drinking.

Since the double fatal crash, Baldock and Cornwell's classmates have worked with California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) on creating this piece of legislation -- a way to better equip those who serve alcohol, and help them identify and understand ways to intervene before a drunk driver gets behind the wheel. 

“Drunk driving kills thousands of people a year and this bill will make our roads safer,” Gonzalez Fletcher said in a statement. “By getting the right training, bartenders are in a better position to protect the public, their customers and their employers. Everyone benefits.”

The bill would require bartenders and servers get mandatory training on alcohol responsibility. The training would cover a variety of topics, including the legal obligations of their employer, how to avoid over-serving customers and ways to spot other similar issues. The training would be a state requirement. 

Similar mandatory training already exists for other local governments, according to Gonzalez Fletcher's office. 

On Monday, the bill passed the Assembly 51 to 1. It previously passed the Senate by a 35 to 3 margin on Sept. 7. 

The bill now heads to the governor's desk. 

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