Wine Country Eyes Drunk Driving

Letting bartenders know that serving the intoxicated is illegal might help

By Jackson West
|  Monday, Jan 11, 2010  |  Updated 4:49 PM PDT
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Wine Country Eyes Drunk Driving

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RUTHERFORD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: A worker at St. Supery winery pours a glass of wine for a tasting September 20, 2006 in Rutherford, California. Wineries in the Napa Valley region are in the midst of harvesting their 2006 crop and will pick and crush grapes until about mid-October. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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What do you get when you combine one of the world's leading wine growing regions with few transportation options besides cars?

Lots of drunk driving, that's what you get.

Napa County ranks eighth in the state in drunk-driving accidents, with the city of Napa tenth out of 106 similarly-sized cities, according to the Napa County DUI Task Force.

In 35 percent of incidents, drunk drivers had gotten sauced up at area bars and restaurants. The group is urging training for bartenders and servers.

This "responsible beverage service" training has been available for years, but it is not required of local businesses that serve alcohol.

"Unfortunately, the ones who need it the most are the ones we never hear from," Shirin Vakharia told the Napa Valley Register, arguing that the training should be required by law.

Jackson West would like to propose that buses and trains are also great ways to cut down on drunk driving.

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