Omaha, NE — As students head back to school, Congressman Lee Terry, (R-2); Chief Thomas Warren, Omaha Police Department; John Combs, Sterling Distributing Co.; an Barry Schmeichel, HyVee; joined Shannon Adams of 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 public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking and discourage adults from providing alcohol to minors. The launch was held HyVee on Cass Street. “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 Adams. Based on the 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) available in English and Spanish, buttons and informational bilingual 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. “We are distributing tip cards in Omaha as an effort to encourage adults to talk to youth about the dangers of alcohol and underage drinking. More than twenty-two percent of 12-17 year olds reported past month alcohol consumption in Nebraska, an increase of an alarming sixteen percent from 2000-2003,” said Congressman Terry. “Our goal today is to encourage parents to communicate with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking as students head back to school and throughout the year. The tips for parents include: be a good role model; disapprove of underage drinking; supervise your child including their online activities; reinforce that underage drinking is against the law.” "Among youth under 21, there were 20 alcohol-related traffic fatalities last year in Nebraska, and 11 of these deaths were among 15-20 year old drinking drivers. Parents must make it a top priority to discuss the dangers of underage drinking and the peer pressures our children face," added Chief Warren. John Combs added, “Underage drinking is against the law in Nebraska. Period. Sterling Distributing Co. is proud to participate in today’s event, and our sales force is thrilled to assist The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility in distributing their impactful buttons and tip cards to Omaha area retailers. Underage drinking is a community problem. Working together, we can keep our children safe and alcohol-free.” “I am on the front lines of the battle against underage drinking every day. While it is certainly important to discourage underage sales, teens get alcohol from other sources, and teens can be very creative about obtaining alcohol. We all have a role to play in the fight against underage drinking,” said Schmeichel. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility will distribute the public service announcements to television stations that serve Omaha and has launched the campaign in over 70 other markets nationwide. The campaign will continue to be rolled out in cities across the country through 2005. 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
Lindsay Law
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility