Washington, DC — Taking advantage of how teens prefer to communicate, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, an organization funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, is launching a novel, creative way to remind teens not to drink during the night of their proms. In order to send the text message, parents only need to do the following: Log on to Register the cell phone number of their children and the date of the prom. During the prom, teens will receive a message, “Have fun 2night. Stay safe. Don't drink. We care.” Parents can also receive a confirmation that evening that their message was sent. The prom text messaging initiative is spearheaded by The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and is supported by CTIA-The Wireless Association®, the international association of the wireless telecommunications industry, and Teen Arrive Alive, dedicated to addressing teen driving safety. The goal of the initiative is to remind teens to stay safe and alcohol-free at their proms this year. Additionally, the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) and the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) are participating by encouraging their members to utilize this tool to keep teens safe during prom season. “We encourage parents to talk to their teen over and over again, especially on prom night and remind them that underage drinking is illegal and dangerous,” says Susan Molinari, Chairman, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. “Text messaging allows parents to reinforce with their kids how serious this issue is and how much parents care. Our goal is for as many parents as possible to register their teen’s cell phone on our site so that they can receive an additional reminder. And we know it makes a difference. A recent survey commissioned by the Foundation showed that 65% of teens cite parents as their leading influence for them not to drink.” Steve Largent, President, of CTIA-The Wireless Association® added, “It’s no secret that kids love to text message their friends. It’s become one of the primary ways they communicate with each other. So it makes perfect sense for parents to reach out to their teens with a very important message, and do it in a way their kids can relate to. We hope by reaching teens in a manner they’re comfortable with, we will keep kids safe and alcohol-free this year.” Last year during Prom and Graduation Season (April, May, June 2004), 713 youths under the age of 21 died in alcohol-related traffic fatalities nationwide according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — stark evidence that Prom and Graduation season is a particularly dangerous time for our nation’s youth. While there has been a 15% reduction in the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities among our youth during the Prom and Graduation season, much more must be done to address this problem. In addition to working with partners to publicize the text messaging campaign, the Foundation will encourage students to register for the safe prom text message at events across the country during Prom season, specifically through Brandon Silveria, a young man who missed his high school prom as the result of a near fatal alcohol-related car crash. Brandon and his father, Tony, travel to high schools across the country to spread their lifesaving message. After spending three months in a coma and several years in rehabilitation, Brandon suffers the long-term effects of one bad decision — his decision to illegally consume alcohol and drive drunk. Brandon travels the country to speak to high school students on behalf of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. “This text messaging campaign is yet another tool for parents to use to keep their kids protected,” said Jack Church, Vice President, Teen Arrive Alive. “All too often, the joy of prom season is overshadowed by tragedy. We want to prevent that this year and encourage parents to register and send their teens a message and — most importantly — talk to teens about the importance of making responsible decisions as they become young adults.” For more information, visit CTIA-The Wireless Association CTIA - The Wireless Association, is an international organization representing all sectors of wireless communications — cellular, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio. As a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1984, we represent service providers, manufacturers, wireless data and Internet companies and other contributors to the wireless universe. For more information, visit Teen Arrive Alive Teen Arrive Alive helps to keep teens safe, which provides parents with considerable peace of mind. Through the Teen Arrive Alive GPS and decal programs parents can now receive immediate input to counsel their teens on safe driving habits and hopefully avoid tragic accidents....or they will be able to locate lost or missing children right away without precious time delays. Just knowing when you need to act is what makes Teen Arrive Alive so important in helping to keep our teens safe. For more information, visit 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