Washington, DC — In honor of April’s designation as Alcohol awareness month, 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, launched the 7th annual recognition of National Prom and Graduation Safety Months. While spring is a time for joyous occasions — proms and graduation celebrations — it is too often marred by the often fatal consequences of illegal underage drinking. In light of this real danger during prom and graduation season, The Foundation highlights a number of efforts to educate parents and teens about the dangers of underage drinking through program implementation and public awareness outreach. “Prom and graduation season is here again. This is a time for celebration,” says Susan Molinari, Chairman of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. “Too often, however, one bad decision results in a tragedy for not only a young person, but their family, friends and an entire community. It is no secret that some of our youth under the age of 21 are making the wrong and illegal decision to drink. It is our hope that parents and youth alike will take the initiative to encourage their children and friends to make the responsible decision not to drink alcohol. Last year during Prom and Graduation Season (April, May, June 2004), 713 youths under the age of 21 died in alcohol-related traffic fatalities nationwide according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — stark evidence that Prom and Graduation season is a particularly dangerous time for our nation’s youth. While there has been a 15% reduction in the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities among our youth during the Prom and Graduation season, much more must be done to address this problem. Key to stopping underage drinking is the involvement of parents. A recent survey commissioned by The Foundation revealed that 65% of teens obtain the alcohol they drink from family and friends — meaning they get alcohol from parents, friends’ parents, siblings, or older friends — with or without permission. The good news, however, is that among 10-18 year olds, 65% cite parents as the leading influence for them not to drink. The Foundation encourages parents to talk with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking early and often and invites parents to visit www.promtips.org for tips on how to make your teen’s prom night safe and alcohol-free. This year marks the 7th annual recognition of National Prom Graduation Safety Months. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility recognizes these months (April, May, and June) by implementing a multifaceted campaign designed to heighten awareness among parents, community leaders and educators to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking. Girl Talk Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking According to a recent survey, mothers of teenage daughters underestimate the occurrence of underage drinking among their own daughters and misjudge the seriousness of the issue. In light of this alarming data the Foundation created Girl Talk: Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking, which encourages an ongoing dialogue between mothers and daughters about the specific risks associated with teenage girls and underage drinking. The Foundation will work with community leaders to launch this program throughout the U.S. including Maine, Georgia, and New Hampshire. Visit www.girlsanddrinking.org for more information and to order free materials. Brandon Tells His Story The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility invites educators and school officials to order our free “Make the Right Choice” video featuring Brandon Silveria, a young man who missed his high school prom as the result of a near fatal alcohol-related car crash. Brandon travels to high schools across the country to spread his lifesaving message. After spending three months in a coma and several years in rehabilitation, he suffers the long-term effects of one bad decision — his decision to illegally consume alcohol and drive drunk. Brandon Silveria travels the country to speak to high school students on behalf of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. This year throughout April, May and June, Brandon will visit states across the country including California, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Texas. Celebrating more than 15 years in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s funding companies, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, Inc., Cruzan, Ltd., DIAGEO, Future Brands LLC, Hood River Distillers, Inc., Pernod Ricard USA, and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. have invested more than $160 million in educational and outreach programs. Girl Talk: Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking, Ask, Listen, Learn®: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix, Brandon Tells His Story, Blood Alcohol Educator, Alcohol 101 Plus® and Cops in Shops® are among The Foundation’s programs created to educate middle-school through college students, their parents, teachers, and adult caregivers about the importance of making responsible decisions regarding beverage alcohol. 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