Sacramento, CA —  In advance of Fourth of July weekend, Auday Arabo, President, California Independent Grocer’s and Convenience Store Association; Lee Riegler, California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; Officer Jonathon Houston, Sacramento Police Department; and Rob Ross, California Beverage Merchant Association joined Dana Fudurich of 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. The launch was held at Ernie’s Wine and Liquor in Carmichael.

“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 Fudurich.

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), 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 Sacramento as an effort to encourage adults to talk to youth about the dangers of underage drinking,” said Arabo. “Over fifteen percent of 12-17 year olds reported past month alcohol consumption in California. The aim is to encourage parents to communicate with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking as they head into summer vacation and throughout the school 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. While it is encouraging to see that underage drinking among high school seniors is on the decline, we must continue to do our part in supporting awareness programs like The Foundation’s Point of Sale campaign,” said Arabo.

Officer Houston said, “Last year in California, 1,456 youths under the age of 18 were arrested for driving under the influence, 4,438 youths were arrested for liquor law violations, and 3,424 youths were arrested for drunkenness. We will be working aggressively over the holiday weekend and throughout the summer to keep alcohol out of our local teens’ hands.”

“In advance of the Fourth of July holiday, it is important to reinforce today’s message; it is critical to talk to your kids about the dangers of underage drinking and remember that 65% percent of kids get their alcohol from friends and family. We’re doing our part to stop underage drinking in the stores, we want to encourage parents to do the same at home,” said Jerry Meyer.

“Fighting drunk driving and underage drinking is absolutely a community effort,” said Rob Ross. Restaurants, wholesalers, retailers — all of us — need to play a role in the fight against underage drinking, to lower, and hopefully eliminate, underage drinking in California.”

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility will distribute the public service announcements to television stations that serve Sacramento and has launched the campaign in over 70 other markets nationwide. The campaign will continue to be rolled out in cities across the country through 2006.

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.

Launched in 1991, The Century Council 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.
CONTACT: Lindsay Law
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
via email