Tallahassee, FL —  Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist and Maria Tildon, Senior Vice President of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a national nonprofit organization funded by distillers dedicated to raising awareness of drinking and driving laws, visited Florida State University (FSU) today to showcase a national public education and awareness campaign. The event kicked off the Blood Alcohol Educator’s statewide tour to educate Floridians about the dangers of drunk driving. The national bilingual effort is a response to recent research demonstrating that seven out of 10 adults report that they do not know the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving in their own state.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida had 1,274 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2003, and 154 of those fatalities were among youth under 21.

“I am excited to return to my alma mater to welcome the Blood Alcohol Educator, an important tool in the fight against drunk driving in the state of Florida,” said Attorney General Crist. “It is important to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and underage drinking, and I would like to thank Florida State University for hosting us today and The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility for bringing their Blood Alcohol Educator Van to Florida.”

At the heart of The Foundation’s educational campaign is the Blood Alcohol Educator (BAE) CD-ROM, a credit card-sized disk, in both English and Spanish, that educates the user about how alcohol influences the BAC level. Highlighting the campaign is a colorful van, dubbed the Blood Alcohol Educator (BAE), which is traveling the country to distribute the CD-ROMs. In almost six years, the project has evolved into a successful national tour, with the BAE Van traveling to 47 states and the District of Columbia.

The user-friendly vehicle converts to an interactive cyber-café that includes three computer terminals which allow visitors to use the BAE CD-ROM to estimate their BAC level based on sex, weight and the type and number of drinks consumed at the BAE CD-ROM’s virtual bar. In addition to reflecting a person’s BAC level, the CD-ROM includes a virtual clock that demonstrates how long it will take for an individual’s BAC level to return to .00.

“I am excited that Attorney General Crist could participate in today’s launch at FSU at the start of our Florida tour,” said Tildon. “Driving across the country in the BAE van provides us with a personal approach to educating Americans. We hope this grassroots educational and awareness campaign will maximize its impact and reduce the distinct awareness gap among Americans of BAC laws and how they affect individuals differently. Additionally, we at The Foundation encourage everyone to log onto our website – www.b4udrink.org – to download the BAE CD-ROM.”

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: Leslie Kimball
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
via email