Washington, DC — A recent PIRE Public Services Research Institute news release linking a marked increase in alcohol-related car crashes among young people in New Zealand with that country’s decision six years ago to lower its minimum drinking age to 18 made a number of useful points in relating the New Zealand experience to the dangers of drunk driving and underage drinking generally, including in the United States. However, the release also makes the erroneous suggestion, without providing any source, that the alcohol industry in the U.S. supports legislative efforts to lower the minimum legal drinking age in this country. On behalf of the distillers that fund us, any such suggestion is flat-out wrong.
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a not-for-profit organization funded by this nation’s leading distillers to combat drunk driving and underage drinking, has developed a range of programs for middle-school students, college students and parents to discuss the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and to discourage youth under 21 from drinking at all. Period. The Foundation, along with the distillers that fund it, supports the current drinking age laws and in fact works hard to pass legislation and provisions that enforce them.
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