BILL NUMBER: AB 346 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Members Beall and Saldana FEBRUARY 14, 2007 An act to add Article 4 (commencing with Section 25685) to Chapter 16 of Division 9 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to alcoholic beverages. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 346, as introduced, Beall. The Prevention of Youth Access to Alcoholic Beverages with Special Appeal to Minors Act of 2007. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, administered by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, regulates the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages and the granting of licenses for the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages within the state. The act also provides for specified labeling requirements for containers of alcoholic beverages sold within this state, as provided. Under existing law, it is unlawful for a person to sell, furnish, give, or cause to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 years, as provided. This bill would establish the Prevention of Youth Access to Alcoholic Beverages with Special Appeal to Minors Act of 2007, to prevent underage drinking of, and access to, alcoholic beverages with special appeal to minors, as defined. This bill would require beer manufacturers and wholesalers to submit specified information to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in order for the department to determine whether that product or brand is an alcoholic beverage with special appeal to minors. This bill would require the department to post an annually updated list of those alcoholic beverages on its Internet homepage. This bill would provide that information submitted to the department is not a public record and makes findings with regard to that information. This bill would provide that the containers of alcoholic beverages with special appeal to minors include specified information, including a statement of the alcohol content by volume. This bill would also prohibit retail licensees who sell alcoholic beverages with special appeal to minors from engaging in specified activities, including displaying those alcoholic beverages within 5 feet of any nonalcoholic beverage and selling motor vehicle fuel. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act provides that a violation of its provisions is a misdemeanor, unless otherwise specified. This bill, by creating a new crime, would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Article 4 (commencing with Section 25685) is added to Chapter 16 of Division 9 of the Business and Professions Code, to read: Article 4. The Prevention of Youth Access to Alcoholic Beverages with Special Appeal to Minors Act of 2007 25685. This article shall be known and may be cited as the Prevention of Youth Access to Alcoholic Beverages with Special Appeal to Minors Act of 2007. 25686. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) Problems associated with alcohol consumption by those under the minimum drinking age of 21 years constitute a public health and safety emergency in California and the Nation. The prevention of underage alcohol consumption is therefore an urgent priority for the people of California. (b) The earlier a young person begins to consume alcoholic beverages, the more likely it is that he or she will experience alcohol problems throughout his or her life. Research has shown that, compared with persons who wait until 21 years of age or older to begin drinking, those who start to drink before 15 years of age are at a far greater risk of alcohol problems later in life, including alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, assault, and other types of injuries. Recent increases in alcohol consumption and binge drinking among underage girls, including girls under the age of 15 years, emphasize the need for new initiatives to prevent youth alcohol problems. (c) The sale, transfer, or furnishing of alcoholic beverages to minors and the public possession of alcohol by minors is illegal in California. Enforcement of laws designed to prevent access and consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors is an urgent priority for the state. (d) California and its governmental subdivisions have initiated numerous programs and public awareness campaigns to prevent alcohol problems in minors and to alert citizens to the dangers associated with underage drinking. These efforts, which are augmented by programs conducted by nongovernmental organizations and individuals, are not sufficiently addressing the public health emergency associated with underage drinking. (e) Research has established that exposure to alcohol advertising influences young people's beliefs and intentions regarding alcoholic beverages and that increased exposure to alcohol advertising results in increased underage alcohol consumption. (f) Research has also established that some alcohol advertisements have images, themes, slogans, and other content that are highly attractive to young people and encourage them to consume alcoholic beverages. (g) Alcoholic beverage products that research shows are highly attractive to young people, including girls under the age of 15 years, are advertised and sold in California. These products, sometimes referred to as flavored alcoholic beverages or "alcopops," have added flavorings and sweeteners. "Alcopops" have a relatively low alcohol content that makes them similar in taste to fruit drinks, sodas, and other nonalcoholic beverages popular with young people. Marketing of these products includes traditional forms of advertising, product placement, labeling, and nontraditional marketing techniques such as text messaging and Internet promotions, including advertising on Web sites popular with youth. (h) New alcohol products, in addition to alcopops, that have potential appeal to young people are being introduced into the market each year. These include gelatin-based products, food-based alcohol products, alcohol mists, and beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, and other additives that may facilitate underage binge drinking. Product labeling and packaging in some cases make it difficult to determine whether these products contain alcohol and, if they do, their alcohol content. (i) Educators, parents, community leaders, and the public are not familiar with the types and extent of risks to the health and safety of California's young people associated with alcopops and other new alcohol products with potential appeal to young people. (j) Underage drinking cost Californians an estimated $7.3 billion dollars in 2005. (k) In 2005, underage drinkers consumed 12.4 percent of all alcohol sold in California, totaling $2.3 billion dollars in sales. These sales provided profits of approximately $1.1 billion dollars to the alcohol industry. (l) The alcohol industry paid $__ dollars in taxes and licensing fees in 2005, a small fraction of the revenue and profits received from alcohol sales derived from underage drinkers. 25687. (a) (1) For purposes of this article, "alcoholic beverage with special appeal to minors" means any alcoholic beverage that contains additives in proportions that result in a product that possesses a character and flavor distinctive from traditional malt beverages, wine, and distilled spirits and that is produced in a manner that a reasonable person knows or should know will promote consumption by youth. (2) An "alcoholic beverage with special appeal to minors" includes, but is not limited to: (A) A prepackaged alcoholic beverage made with gelatin, or other similar base, and added sweetener intended to solidify the product into a gelatinous, nonliquid state. (B) A prepackaged alcoholic beverage that contains high levels of caffeine and other additives and is marketed as an energy drink. (b) Factors that may be considered in determining whether an alcoholic beverage has special appeal to minors include, but are not limited to: (1) Added sweetner or sugar substitutes. (2) Added fruit flavors and other flavors that mask the taste of traditional alcohol products. (3) Coloring, carbonation, and packaging that are similar to nonalcoholic products that are appealing to and are consumed by minors. (4) Per capita consumption of the alcoholic beverage by minors that is higher than the per capita consumption by adults. 25688. (a) Beer manufacturers and wholesalers shall submit to the department information regarding each product and brand to be distributed in California that is relevant to the determination of whether the product or brand is an alcoholic beverage with special appeal to minors. (b) (1) The department shall review all information submitted to the department pursuant to subdivision (a), and all other alcoholic beverage products and brands sold in the state, to determine whether a product or brand is an alcoholic beverage with special appeal to minors. (2) On or before ____, 2008, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control shall publish a list, available on the department's Internet homepage and updated on an annual basis, of those products or brands that the department has determined to be alcoholic beverages with special appeal to minors. (c) All information and records provided to the department pursuant to subdivision (a) are confidential in nature and shall not be disclosed by the department. Information required under subdivision (a) are not public records under the California Public Records Act, as described in Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code and shall not be open to public inspection. 25690. (a) In addition to any federal labeling requirements, any alcohol with special appeal to minors container sold within this state bear a label that includes the alcoholic content by volume of the beverage located on the front of the container and the statement "Warning: Contains Alcohol." (b) This section shall become operative ______. 25692. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any retail licensee engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages with special appeal to minors shall not: (a) Display an alcoholic beverage with special appeal to minors within five feet of any nonalcoholic beverage. (b) Place for sale an alcoholic beverage with special appeal to minors in a refrigerated cooler or tub. (c) Sell motor vehicle fuel. (d) Place or display self-illuminated advertising for alcoholic beverages with special appeal to minors in the windows of the premises or on the interior or exterior walls of the premises. 25694. The department shall promulgate regulations and rules as may be necessary to carry out the this article. SEC. 2. The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 25696 to the Business and Professions Code, imposes a limitation on the public's right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest: In order to allow the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to fully accomplish its goals, it is imperative to protect the interests of those persons submitting information to the department to ensure that any business or trade secrets that are required to be submitted by those persons by this act be protected as confidential information. SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.