Baton Rouge, LA —  In advance of back to school season, Attorney General Charles Foti; Kavin Sherwood, Glazers Distributors; Commissioner Murphy Painter, Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control; Chief Jeff LeDuff, Baton Rouge Police Department; and John Smith, Cork and Bottle; joined Ralph Blackman of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility to launch a public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking and discourage adults from providing alcohol to minors. The launch was held at Cork and Bottle on Perkins Road.

“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 Blackman.

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, a national not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers and dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, 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.

“Parents need to take every opportunity, or create opportunities, to talk to their kids about underage drinking. When you talk, they really do listen,” said Attorney General Foti. “Study after study shows that kids cite their parents as the leading influence over their decision to drink or not to drink alcohol. I am delighted to be here today to stand alongside leaders in the community, working together to ensure that parents have useful information to help them have a meaningful and effective conversation with their kids about the dangers of underage drinking.”

“Alcohol is accessible to our youth far too often, particularly now that we are approaching the holiday weekend and back to school season. Among 12-20 year olds, more than 29 percent reported past month alcohol consumption in Louisiana. Clearly, more work needs to be done. Protecting the safety, particularly the safety of our city’s most precious resource – our young people – is a top priority for my organization,” said Painter.

“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 65% campaign,” said Sherwood.

Chief Citty said, “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 will be working aggressively during the back to school season and throughout the entire year to keep alcohol out of our local teens’ hands.”

Smith said, “I am on the front lines of the battle against underage drinking every day at Cork and Bottle. We all have a role to play in the fight against underage drinking. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s program is just one of the many examples of how we can work to prevent underage drinking and purchasing of alcohol here in Louisiana.”

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility will distribute the public service announcements to television stations that serve Indianapolis 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. For more information about the program, log onto The Foundation’s Web site at www.responsibility.org.

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: 
CONTACT: Lindsay Law
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
202-637-0077
via email