Fort Myers, FL — In advance of the Back to School season, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Florida state agencies will partner with 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 statewide public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking and discourage attempts to purchase alcohol by minors. Following events already held in Orlando, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Palm Beach, and Miami, the statewide tour will conclude in Tallahassee tomorrow. Representative Bruce Kyle; Captain Jim Lanza, Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco; and Lou DeFalco, Director of Safety and Security, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits; joined Jay Hibbard of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, to launch the Fort Myers tour at the ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Store on South Tamiami Trail. “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. “The good news is that over the past 20 years, the number of underage drinkers has decreased. For example, underage drinking among high school seniors has declined 31% proportionally from 70% in 1982 to 48% in 2004, according to government surveys. Yet, more work needs to be done,” said Representative Kyle. “As Director of Safety and Security of Florida's premiere wine and spirits retail chain, we are committed to running our business responsibly and taking a leadership role to combat underage drinking,” said Lou DeFalco. “We want our customers to be of legal drinking age, and outside of our store, we want all Florida citizens to be responsible - which means not providing or purchasing alcohol for youths. Every community needs to work together to combat illegal, underage drinking. ABC Fine Wine and Spirits is pleased to be a leader in Florida on the issue of preventing underage drinking and we are proud to partner with The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility to distribute the informational tip cards in our stores throughout the state.” Based on the recent 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 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. The partnership will distribute the PSA to television stations across Florida. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will make the new materials available to participating retailers across the states. These locations will provide informational tip cards to parents on how to have an effective conversation about alcohol with their teens. “The Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco salutes The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility for their initiative to reduce underage drinking here in Florida,” said Captain Lanza. “Protecting the safety — particularly the safety of our state’s most precious resource, our young people — continues to be one of the division's top priorities. As students head back to school this fall, we must work together to keep our youth safe and alcohol-free.” 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 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
Leslie Kimball
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility