Boston, MA — The Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Massachusetts (WSWM) and The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, are teaming up to showcase a national public education and awareness campaign throughout the state this week as part of an ongoing, first-in-the-nation partnership designed to fight drunk driving and underage drinking in Massachusetts. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s national bilingual effort is a response to research demonstrating that seven out of ten adults report that they do not know the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving in their own state.
Robert Buckley, WSWM President, added, “On behalf of the beverage alcohol industry in Massachusetts, the Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Massachusetts take our community responsibility very seriously and are committed to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking in the state. We are proud to work with the Foundation and to welcome the BAE van to Massachusetts to educate our citizens about this very important issue.”
“Last year in Massachusetts, there were 207 alcohol-related traffic fatalities (2003). These numbers are far too high,” said Susan Molinari, Chair of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. “Knowing the law and knowing how alcohol affects your individual blood alcohol concentration is key to making good decisions when it comes to beverage alcohol. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s Blood Alcohol Education campaign is a great resource for informing American adults about both of these issues.”
At the heart of the educational campaign is the Blood Alcohol Educator (BAE) CD-ROM, a credit card sized CD-ROM in both English and Spanish that educates the user on how alcohol influences their BAC level. Highlighting the campaign is a colorful van dubbed the Blood
Alcohol Educator (BAE) that is traveling the country to distribute the CD-ROMs. In six years’ time, the project has evolved into a successful national tour. To date, the BAE Van has traveled to 47 states and the District of Columbia — a total of over 250,000 miles.
The user-friendly vehicle converts into 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 gender, 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.
“Driving across the country in the BAE van provides us with a personal approach to educating Americans,” said Molinari. “We hope this grassroots educational and awareness campaign will maximize its impact and reduce the distinct awareness gap among Americans of what BAC laws are and how the law affects individuals differently. Additionally, we at The Foundation encourage everyone to log onto our website — www.b4udrink.org
— to download the BAE CD-ROM.”
The Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Massachusetts is an association representing wholesalers for the distilled spirits industry in the Commonwealth. Since 1933 those wholesalers have been the central component in the Commonwealth’s three tier alcohol distribution system, which ensures that alcohol sales in Massachusetts are made in a socially responsible manner, and only to properly licensed accounts. The wholesalers are also responsible for collecting approximately $60 million annually in alcohol beverage excise tax on behalf of the Commonwealth. Full member companies are: Horizon Beverages, United Liquors, Martignetti Companies, MS Walker, Commonwealth Wine & Spirits; Ruby Wines is an associated member.
The Blood Alcohol Educator van will travel to the following locations the week of June 6 — June 10:
Monday, June 6 — 10:00 am — 2:00 pm
North Common Mall Public Park
Corner of Haverhill & Jackson Streets
Wednesday, June 8 — 2:00 pm — 6:00 pm
JB’s Liquor World
365 West Central Street (Rt. 140)
Franklin, MA 02038
Thursday, June 9 — 2:00 pm — 6:00 pm
JB’s Liquor World
Star Market Plaza
9 Medway Road (Rt. 109)
Medway, MA 02053
Friday, June 10 — 10:00 am — 2:00 pm
Cedarville Wine & Spirits
2245 State Road
Plymouth, MA 02360
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