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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2010

Sen. Debbe Leftwich
Sen. Debbe Leftwich

Party Bus Bill Clears Senate Committee

The Senate’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee has approved a measure to ensure party bus companies don’t enable underage drinking. Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, said she introduced Senate Bill 1762 because of an incident that occurred in her district.

“Students at one of our area high schools pooled their money and rented a party bus for prom night—then proceeded to drink while on the bus, while the driver apparently did or said nothing at all to stop them,” Leftwich explained. “They were completely drunk when they arrived at their prom, and if school officials hadn’t been observant and detained the students, they probably would have eventually wound up on the road.”

Leftwich said SB 1762 would make it illegal for a person owning or operating a hired bus or limousine service to knowingly transport minors who are drinking or in possession of alcohol or low-point beer. As approved by the committee, it would be a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500 for the driver and for the owner of the vehicle. Those convicted of a subsequent offense would face the fine and the loss of the driver’s commercial license. In addition, the company owning the vehicle could be barred from operating in Oklahoma for one year.

“If a company is willing to do business with minors, there needs to be some accountability on the company’s part,” Leftwich said. “While there are legitimate companies that try to prevent underage drinking, we know some operators have turned a blind eye while these underage students get drunk. This bill is an attempt to crack down on those businesses.”

SB 1762 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Leftwich: 405-521-5557

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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