Nov
20
2006

Washington, D.C. —  I am pleased and honored to represent The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, and the distilled spirits companies that fund us, at the launch of The Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Our funding companies are Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Future Brands LLC; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Sidney Frank Importing Co. Inc.

Since its formation over fifteen years ago, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility has worked tirelessly in communities across the country developing programs, strategies and tactics in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking. We have always believed in the power of collaboration and have seen the long-term positive impact that can result from such strategic relationships.

We believe that power of collaboration is the foundation of today’s exciting announcement. The combined expertise and outreach potential of the organizations represented here today, and others who will join this effort in the future, have great potential to accomplish this life-saving goal.

I am pleased that Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters was able to join us today. Her presence is a good indication of the strength of this collaboration. Madam Secretary — thank you for your leadership in this important endeavor.

I also want to acknowledge and pay tribute to the long-standing efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in this important fight. MADD has always been a leader in efforts to rid our highways of drunk driving and the senseless tragedies that occur as a result. Our roads are safer today because of their excellent work. Thank you for all you do.

But today I also thank MADD for having the vision that eliminating drunk driving is possible and that to do it, it requires many different stakeholders at the table. The diversity of the organizations represented here, at times, will pursue our common goals in different ways. However, we agree that differences are not reasons to abandon this effort but opportunities to look at the issues from all sides.

For instance, we believe that focusing on the hardcore drunk driver (high BAC and repeat offenders) is of utmost importance. We agree that advanced vehicle technologies should be explored but also believe, as do many standing up here today, that any future technology must not get ahead of the data or public support.

We also believe that judges are a critical component in eliminating drunk driving. We work with organizations like The National Association of State Judicial Educators and the National Judicial College, on effectively adjudicating hardcore drunk driving cases.

We believe that the Foundation’s efforts in these important areas will work in concert with the Campaign.

Today we stand together not only with MADD but with the United States Department of Transportation and NHTSA, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Governors Highway Safety Association, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Working together, we can eliminate drunk driving.

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: Leslie Kimball
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
202-425-5423
via email