Asheville, NC — In advance of the July 4th Holiday, Representative D. Bruce Goforth; Danny Sellers Director Of Education and Training Division, North Carolina ABC Commission; Chief Don Guge, ABC Board Law Enforcement; and Curtis Cant, General Manager, Asheville ABC Board; joined Jay Hibbard 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 the Asheville ABC Store on South Charlotte Street. “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 Hibbard. 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. “We are distributing tip cards in Asheville as an effort to encourage adults to talk to kids about the dangers of alcohol and underage drinking. According to the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (SAMHSA), 16.1% of 12-17 year olds reported past month alcohol consumption in North Carolina,” said Representative Goforth. “The tips 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; recognize problem behavior and seek help when necessary.” “ABC Law Enforcement is 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 Chief Guge. Danny Sellers added, “Underage drinking is against the law in North Carolina. Period. The North Carolina ABC Commission is proud to participate in today’s event. As Director of the Education and Training Division, I can assure you that we will do everything we can to encourage parents to communicate with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking in advance of the July 4th Holiday and throughout the year. Underage drinking is a community problem. Working together, we can keep our children safe and alcohol-free.” The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility will distribute the public service announcements to television stations that serve Asheville and has launched the campaign in 55 other markets nationwide. The campaign will continue to be rolled out in cities across the country through 2005. “The state ABC Board, the local ABC board, advocacy groups, retailers — all of us — need to play a role in the fight against underage drinking to lower, and hopefully eliminate, underage drinking in North Carolina. We want to be a part of that fight, which is why we are here today in support of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s campaign. We hope parents in North Carolina will answer an overwhelming ‘Yes!’ when asked ‘Are you doing your part?’” said Curtis Canty. 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. North Carolina is the 56th launch of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s latest campaign. For more information about the program, log onto The Foundation’s Web site at www.responsibility.org. 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.
Leslie Kimball
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility