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Parents Of Teen Victim Have Mixed Emotions Over Stricter Party Bus Law

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The interior of a party bus. (CBS)

The interior of a party bus. (CBS)

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BURLINGAME (KCBS) – California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill aimed at cracking down on underage drinking on party buses, this after two fatal incidents in the last three years in the Bay Area.

The new law closes a loophole in current law that holds limousine operators but not charter buses responsible for underage drinking.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports: 

The bill, penned by Peninsula Assemblyman Jerry Hill, is named after 19-year-old Brett Studebaker, who died after a night of drinking on a party bus. He was killed after taking the wheel of his Audi in February 2010, crashing into a sound wall and then another vehicle on Highway 101 near San Mateo.

His father Doug Studebaker remembers Brett as a kind and humble young man who was a good listener.

“Dare I aspire to have many of the qualities that I saw in Brett,” he said

The bill closes a loophole in current law that holds limousine operators but not charter buses responsible for underage drinking.

“We know from the testimony of other riders that the bus driver actually served and even stopped the van on the way home to pick up an additional bottle of champagne,” said Doug Studebaker.

Hill’s legislation will require that an adult chaperone be on these buses if any alcohol is served.

“We’re very happy that this will possibly save other lives in the future and other families from going through what we had to go through,” said Brett’s mom Linda Studebaker.

A 25-year-old woman was killed following a scuffle on a party bus in July after the door to the vehicle opened and she fell out, getting run over by the bus, which was traveling on Highway 17 in Los Gatos.

Hill’s bill was passed unanimously in both the Assembly and Senate.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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