AB 1128: Veto of the “Serve a Minor” Felony Penalty Bill, or How to Lose a Winery in One Sale

On May 20th we wrote a blog on the dangerous nature of AB 1128, which would have elevated the penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor from a misdemeanor to a felony.  This was one of the most pernicious anti-alcoholic beverage industry (and anti-parent) bills in the history of California. It snuck through the legislature because most folks simply didn’t want to be seen as encouraging in any way youth alcohol use; regardless of the circumstances or the context. We are pleased to report that Governor Brown vetoed the bill and sent the following message:

BILL NUMBER:  AB 1128

VETOED       DATE: 10/12/2013

To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 1128 without my signature.

This bill would allow a felony to be charged if a person knowingly provides alcohol to an underage drinker, whose alcohol consumption thereafter causes injury or death.

The behavior targeted by this bill is already a misdemeanor and I am not convinced it should be made into a felony.

Sincerely,

Edmund G. Brown Jr.

We attribute this veto to the good sense shown by the Governor and, just as likely, to the strong messages delivered to the Governor by all of the industry trade associations that this bill was not necessary or advisable.   This is a good reason to continue to support your industry retailer and supplier trade associations.