CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA “The most recent statistics available show that in 2005 there were 347 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Virginia, 46 of these deaths were among youth under 21 (NHTSA 2005). One death is one too many,” said Delegate Toscano.

“In Virginia, 155 youths under age 18 were arrested for driving under the influence, 1,359 youths were arrested for liquor law violations, and 204 youths were arrested for drunkenness (UCR 2005),” said Delegate Bell. “Our goal with these presentations is to raise awareness about this serious problem, and by doing so, save lives in Virginia.”

“Among 12-20 year olds, more than 27 percent reported past month alcohol consumption in Virginia (SAMHSA),” said Senator Hanger. “I am proud to have Brandon and Tony Silveria with us today to communicate their life-saving message.”

“The 2006 Monitoring the Future study also showed that slightly more than seven out of ten students have consumed alcohol at least once by the end of high school. That means 73% of twelfth graders report they have tried alcohol,” said Senator Deeds. ““We must do more to keep the teens of Virginia safe and alcohol-free”

“I’m pleased we were invited to Albemarle High School, Monticello High School, and Western Albemarle High School this week and I am hopeful that Brandon and Tony’s words will resonate with the students,” said Jennifer Curley of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

During the presentation, Brandon Silveria told students his wrenching story of how as a high school student he had everything a teenager could want—a job, a girlfriend and plans for the future—until he had a few drinks at a party and chose to drive home. After falling asleep at the wheel, crossing the centerline and crashing into a tree, he was left in a coma for three months and spent several years in rehabilitation. Brandon was so badly injured that basic motor functions such as walking, talking and swallowing had to be re-learned. He has permanent brain injury and suffers from dangerous seizures. Brandon’s presentations continue to receive standing ovations from students across the country.

“What you become depends on the choices that you make,” said Brandon. “When I was seventeen, I had a job and a girlfriend. Because of my crash, I lost both of them. My hope is that by sharing my experiences with other young people, I can prevent others from being hurt or killed.”

Through educational efforts such as the Silveria lecture and video program, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility educates students across the country about the hazards of underage drinking and driving. Since Brandon and his father Tony have become spokespeople for The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, they have addressed well over two million high school students nationwide and have been featured on such television programs as “Rescue 911,” NBC’s “Today,” as well as media outlets across the country.

To request a free copy of “Brandon Tells His Story” or for more information on the Silveria program call (800) 431-4499. The 30-minute video, which won an award from the American Medical Association, is accompanied by supporting curriculum materials and can be used with large or small groups of teens.

Brandon and Tony presented at:

Wednesday, October 10th
*Albemarle High School in Charlottesville, VA with Delegate David Toscano and State Senator Deeds
*Monticello High School in Charlottesville, VA with Delegate Robert Bell and State Senator Creigh Deeds

Thursday, October 11th
*Western Albemarle High School in Crozet, VA with State Senator Hanger

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. Founded in 1991, The Foundation is funded by distillers. For more information on The Foundation and its mission, please log onto www.responsibility.org.
CONTACT: Erica Moulton
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
via email