New State Law Hopes To Curb Underage Drinking

Monday, November 1st 2010, 7:44 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A new state law aims at protecting your kids from underage drinking.  It is state Senate Bill 1762, which monitors how limo companies and party bus drivers operate. 

One Tulsa business owner who is directly affected by the new law spoke to the News On 6. 

The new law will make it a misdemeanor for the operator of a party bus or limousine company to allow underage drinking.  

Charles Cotton, owner of VIP Limousine in Tulsa has been in business for 20 years.  Cotton says over time he's noticed that there are fly-by-night limo and party bus operators in Oklahoma who are not licensed and allowing underage drinking.  

He says this puts the public in danger not only because of the underage drinking but also because some of those people are not licensed to do that kind of work. 

"Well they come in and they take our market share, and us who are legal operators throughout the state.  We're giving up market share to these people, and that hurts you financially," said Charles Cotton. 

Cotton says some of these party bus operators come from out of the state and he estimates around $1 million is collected illegally. 

Under the new law in place a party bus or limo operator found breaking this law could face a misdemeanor crime and be fined $500. 

In 2009, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol made 351 arrests for underage drinking.