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Consequences for Giving Alcohol to Teens May Become Harsher

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In California, it's a crime to give alcohol to a teen, but if something bad happens, say death from alcohol poisoning, state law protects you from civil prosecution. Now a bill to allow civil suits over the issue has been approved by the state legislature and heads to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk.

“Teens continue to die from alcohol poisoning under adult supervision, even though common sense alone should prevent adults from providing alcohol to minors,” said Mike Feuer, who authored the the bill. “This bill promotes responsible behavior, creating a deterrent to adults who might otherwise give teens alcohol. I hope that the Governor will agree that this measure will keep kids safer.”

Although adults can be charged criminally, Feuer wants to add another layer of deterrence to those thinking of providing alcohol to those under 18. He says California is one of the few states that prohibits civil recourse the a case. Feuer's ignition interlock device bill for DUI drivers in L.A. County went into effect on July 1st.