Party Buses Draw Criticism for Turning Blind Eye to Teen Drinking
Party buses, promoted as a safe way to transport teens and adults to nightclubs and other hot spots, turn a blind eye to teen drinking, according to critics. The vehicles also dump hard-drinking partygoers in neighborhoods that don’t want them, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
In one recent incident near Santa Cruz, California, a fight broke out on a party bus between two young adults, who fell out of the moving bus. One died. Everyone onboard, except the driver, was drunk.
California Assemblyman Jerry Hill is sponsoring a bill that would make party bus companies responsible for their passengers, including minors who drink onboard. According to a news release issued by Hill’s office, party buses have become an increasingly popular place for minors to drink. “Due to the lack of penalties and enforcement, minors often drink onboard resulting in tragedies covered in the news in recent years,” the release states.
California tightened rules on “prom limousines” that became popular in the 1980s, where teens drank in the back seat, behind tinted windows. Party buses are not regulated in the same way. Under Hill’s bill, party bus companies and their drivers would have to ensure that minors do not drink onboard, or board the bus drunk. If minors are onboard, a chaperone 25 or older would have to accompany them, to ensure they don’t drink.