Cedar Rapids, IA — As students head back to school, Thom Rowen, Glazer’s; Chief Barry Daugherty, Marion Police Department; Cedar Rapids Police Department; and Pete Brennan, HyVee; joined Shannon Adams, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a national not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers and dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, to launch a public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking and discourage adults from providing alcohol to minors. Attorney General Tom Miller and Lynn Walding, Administrator, Alcoholic Beverages Division, participated in a launch yesterday in Des Moines. The Cedar Rapids launch was held at HyVee on Business Highway 151 East.
“Key to addressing the problem of underage drinking is having a sense for where youth obtain the alcohol they drink. In a recent survey commissioned by The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, we asked teens, ‘Where do you get the alcohol that you drink?’ 65% of the youth surveyed said that they got the alcohol they drink from family and friends, meaning they got it from their parents, their friends’ parents, older siblings or family members or older friends, with or without permission,” said Adams.
Based on the survey data stating that 65% of youth who drink obtain alcohol from their family and friends, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility created a campaign that highlights the point-of-access to alcohol by underage youth. The campaign encourages parents to play a more active role in keeping alcohol out of the hands of our nation’s youth. The key component to the campaign is a 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) available in English and Spanish, buttons and informational bilingual tip cards that provide tips for parents on how to talk with their kids about alcohol that will be distributed at the point-of-purchase.
Tip cards will be distributed in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines as an effort to encourage adults to talk to youth about the dangers of underage drinking. Over twenty percent of 12-17 year olds reported past month alcohol consumption in Iowa, and among youth under 21, there were 34 alcohol-related traffic fatalities last year in the state. The aim is to encourage parents to communicate with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking as they begin a new school year and throughout the year. The tips for parents include: be a good role model; disapprove of underage drinking; supervise your child including their online activities; reinforce that underage drinking is against the law.
Chief Barry Daugherty said, “In Iowa, 309 youths under age 18 were arrested for driving under the influence; 2,413 youths under age 18 were arrested for liquor law violations in Iowa last year; and 242 were arrested for drunkenness. We will do everything we can to encourage parents to communicate with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking as students head back to school and throughout the year.
“I am on the front lines of the battle against underage drinking every day. While it is certainly important to discourage underage sales, kids get alcohol from other sources, and kids can be very creative about obtaining alcohol. We all have a role to play in the fight against underage drinking,” said Pete Brennan.
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility will distribute the public service announcements to television stations that serve Cedar Rapids and Des Moines and has launched the campaign in 73 other markets nationwide. The campaign will continue to be rolled out in cities across the country through 2005.
“Elected officials, community groups, wholesalers, retailers, and most important, parents – all of us - need to work together to stop underage drinking in Iowa. Glazer’s wants to be part of that effort, which is why we are here today in support of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s campaign. We know that parents play a pivotal role in the success of this initiative. Together, we can save lives,” said Rowen.
Since The Foundation’s inception in 1991, approximately 10 million pieces of point of sale items have been distributed free of charge to retailers and wholesalers nationwide. In fact, The Foundation’s point of sale materials have been distributed in all 50 states. Cedar Rapids is the 74th launch of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s latest campaign.
Launched in 1991, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is funded by America's leading distillers. The Foundation's mission is to promote responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol and discourage all forms of irresponsible consumption through education, communications, research, law enforcement and other programs. For more information on the Foundation, log onto www.responsibility.org