Fighting Against Drunk Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 28 people in the U.S. die in drunk-driving crashes every day — that is one person every 52 minutes and nearly 30% of all deaths on California roads.

As you well know, our 67th district is all too familiar with having to cope with drunk and impaired driving fatalities. Though it is often an uphill battle, we have to do all we can to combat and prevent these tragedies from happening.

That is why I have joined with my colleague Assemblymember Fong to introduce AB 863. This bill would prohibit any supervising driver accompanying a provisional licensed driver from being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Current law requires the supervising driver to have their valid driver’s license, be at least 25 years old, and ready to intervene and take control of the vehicle if needed, but it does not require the supervising driver to be sober.

Supervising a provisional licensee while impaired puts the driver (often a minor or young adult), passengers, and others who share the road at serious and potentially fatal risk.

I am also proud to co-author AB 582 “Gavin’s Law” by Assemblymember Lackey, which will increase the penalty possible for hit-and-runs resulting in death, bringing them more in line with the penalties for vehicular manslaughter.

Currently, there is a disturbing loophole in the Vehicle Code that inadvertently encourages drivers, especially those who may be under the influence, to flee the scene of an accident rather than to stay at the scene.

By bringing code more into line with the penalties assessed for vehicular manslaughter and making them greater than a DUI sentence, AB 582 will encourage drivers to stay at the scene of a crime, to aid both the injured victim and the police in their investigation.

Combatting drunk driving is a priority for our community and I am proud to bring these concerns up to Sacramento. Thank you and it is my privilege to be your Representative in the State Assembly.