SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With a not surprising show of solidarity, the California Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization (GO) voted unanimously Wednesday to pass AB 1322 (Daily-Anaheim) to allow unlicensed, unregulated, free alcohol to be served at the state's 45,000+ beauty salons and barber shops. The GO Committee is the State Assembly's largest committee (21 members) and the place where Big Alcohol spends the most money to gain influence as most bills dealing with alcohol rules and regulations begin their legislative journey there.
"Once again the GO Committee has proved it's the place where bad alcohol bills are passed and good alcohol bills go to die," stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CO of Alcohol Justice. "Except that we are talking about the lives of people not bills when we say this particular change to alcohol regulation will negatively affect the health and safety of all California residents and visitors."
Alcohol Justice has estimated that if AB 1322 becomes law the number of venues serving alcohol in California will increase by 41%.
In a letter of opposition sent to the GO committee the organization listed the many problems with the bill's devil-may-care approach:
- Who will monitor the number of drinks served and the drink sizes? The Alcoholic Beverage Control agency has less than 150 agents for the state and they will not monitor or enforce at any location that does not have a license.
- This bill makes no mention of age requirements or proper Responsible Beverage Service training of persons pouring the alcohol. It throws out all standards of retail service of alcohol.
- The bill would allow every barbershop, beauty parlor or nail salon venue to serve alcohol regardless of the presence of underage persons – toddlers, adolescents or underage youth who could easily be served or sneak drinks while getting a hair cut or nails done. Evidence shows that increased availability of alcoholic beverages is correlated with an increase in alcohol related harm.
- The qualification in the bill that it may not cause an increase in price is ridiculously unenforceable, as any purchase of beer, wine and spirits will have to come out of all customer costs anyway – unless somehow or other the alcohol is given for free to the salons or barber shops. Non-drinking salon or barbershop customers inevitably will be subsidizing drinkers at the shops that offer alcohol.
- There is no regulation here of the purchasing structure. The venues will have to purchase at the retail level and then resell the alcohol, as they cannot be allowed to purchase from wholesalers or producers directly. This may cause black market purchasing at discounted rates from retailers.
- All the unlicensed venues will have to engage in an arms race of free drinks to keep up with venues that serve more alcohol or offer promotions. If one barbershop offers two beers with a haircut, the place across the street might have to offer three.
"The scenarios for how bad this bill is are endless," added Livingston. "California already suffers more than $31 billion dollars in alcohol-related harm and 10,000 alcohol-related deaths annually. We implore more rational voices of reason in the legislature, Governor Brown, Attorney General Harris and ABC officials to please help safeguard public health and safety and reduce alcohol-related harm in California by stopping AB 1322, it's a very dangerous bill."
Visit https://www.AlcoholJustice.org for more information and to take action against this bill.
Contact: Michael Scippa 415 548-0492
Jorge Castillo 213 840-3336
SOURCE Alcohol Justice