Allentown, PA — To kick off April as Alcohol Awareness Month, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine, North America, will partner with The Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers and dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, to launch a Pennsylvania statewide public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking and discourage persons from providing alcohol to minors.
U.S. Congressman Charles Dent (R-15), Steve Schmidt, Director of
Education for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB); and Chris
Swonger, Senior Vice President — Corporate Affairs, Allied Domecq;
joined Jay Hibbard of The Century Council, to the launch event at the
Pennsylvania Wine & Sprits Store at the Crest Plaza Shopping
Center. PLCB Board Members P.J. Stapleton and Thomas Goldsmith will
also participate in the launch event. The statewide tour began in
Harrisburg and Pittsburgh and will continue in Erie, Wilkes Barre, and
“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 Century Council, 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 Hibbard.
Congressman Dent added, “As we recognize April as Alcohol Awareness Month, we must redouble our efforts and work aggressively to keep alcohol out of teen’s hands. It is important to reinforce how seriously we follow the law. Youth under 21 cannot purchase alcohol in Pennsylvania. Period. I am pleased to do my part to insure that parents have useful information to help them to have a meaningful and effective conversation with their kids about the dangers of underage drinking.”
“In terms of past month alcohol consumption among high school seniors, the 2004 Monitoring the Future study reports underage drinking has declined 31% proportionally from 70% in 1982 to 48% in 2004. Clearly, more work needs to be done,” said Schmidt. “As students head into the spring season and the school year draws to a close, the entire state of Pennsylvania must join together to fight underage drinking.”
“As one of the leaders in the beverage alcohol industry, Allied Domecq is committed to marketing our products responsibly and standing on the front lines to combat underage drinking,” said Swonger. “We are very proud of our products. But we want our products to be enjoyed in moderation and responsibly by a legal, drinking age, adult consumer only. Our industry, federal, state and local governments, communities and parents need to work together to combat illegal, underage drinking. Today’s launch is just one example of how we can work collectively to prevent underage alcohol consumption.”
Based on the recent survey data stating that 65% of youth who drink obtain alcohol from their family and friends, The Century Council created a campaign which 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), buttons and informational 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. The partnership will distribute the PSA to television stations in Pennsylvania.
The PLCB, Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine, North America, and The Century Council will make the new materials available to all members of the Pennsylvania beverage alcohol retail community. Retail locations across the state will provide informational tip cards to parents on how to have an effective conversation about alcohol with their kids.
“We appreciate the efforts of so many organizations in Pennsylvania to bring this important issue to the public’s attention and we will continue to do our part to help combat underage drinking and ensure responsible and legal consumption of our products by adults,” said Swonger.
Since The Council’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 Council’s point of sale materials have been distributed in all 50 states. For more information about the program, log onto The Council’s Web site at www.centurycouncil.org.
The Century Council