New law allows alcohol manufacturers to offer free, discounted rides

FILE PHOTO: Cars park along Main Street in Newhall on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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As New Year’s Eve quickly approaches, Santa Clarita Valley residents are scrambling to find a friend who is willing to stay sober and act as the designated driver during the night’s festivities.

But, a starting Jan. 1, a new law may allow everyone to partake in the night’s celebrations and make it home safely.

Assembly Bill 711 will allow alcohol manufactures and licensed sellers to provide drinkers with free or discounted rides through taxi cabs or ride-sharing services like Lyft or Uber.

Alcohol sellers or consumers will be given vouchers or codes to use the free or discounted ride services.

However, alcohol sellers may not offer the vouchers or codes to consumers as an incentive to buy beverages or products.

AB 711 expands current law, which prohibits any licensee from giving premiums, gifts or goods to consumers under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

The only exception is for alcohol manufactures who can provide free rides home to consumers at invitation-only events.

With the passage of AB 711, supporters hope it will promote public safety and ensure customers drink responsibly.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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