Anchorage, AK — In advance of the Back to School season, State Representative Cheryll Heinze (R); State Representative Kevin Meyer (R); Alaksa CHARR representative Michele Leffel; Director of Alaska Alcohol Beverage Control Doug Griffin; and Ed O’Neil of Brown Jug, Inc.; joined Dana Fudurich of The Century Council today for the statewide launch of The Council’s public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking. The Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers and dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, partnered with these organizations to unveil the public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking and discourage attempts to purchase alcohol by minors.
“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,” said Fudurich.
“The good news is that over the past 20 years, the number of underage drinkers has decreased. For example, underage drinking among high school seniors has declined 29% proportionally from 70% in 1982 to 50% in 2001, according to government surveys. More work needs to be done, which is why I’ve invited The Council to bring their campaign to Alaska,” said Heinze.
“Alcohol is accessible to our young people far too often, particularly as teens head back to school and throughout the year. I want to keep our teens safe and alcohol-free,” said Meyer. “We are working aggressively to keep alcohol out of our local teens’ hands and save lives on Alaska’s highways.”
Based on the recent survey data, The Century Council, working with the American Beverage Licensees (ABL), created anew campaign that highlights the point of access to alcohol by underage youth and 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, 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 Century Council is distributing this public service announcement to television stations in Alaska and has launched the campaign in 38 other markets nationwide. The campaign will continue to be rolled out in cities across the country through 2004.
“Our department is on the front lines of the battle against underage drinking every day. While it is certainly important to discourage underage sales, kids get alcohol from other sources, and kids can be very creative about obtaining alcohol. We all have a role to play in the fight against underage drinking,” said Doug Griffin.
Working with ABL, The Century Council plans to make the new materials available to all members of the Alaska beverage alcohol retail community. ABL members across the country will provide informational tip cards to parents on how to have an effective conversation about alcohol with their kids. Members of the organizations can request these materials for their retail outlets, bars and restaurants nationwide.
“Restaurants, wholesalers, retailers — all of us — need to play a role in the fight against underage drinking to lower, and hopefully eliminate, underage drinking in Alaska. We want to be a part of that fight, which is why we are here today in support of The Century Council’s new campaign. We hope parents in Alaska will answer an overwhelming ‘Yes!’ when asked ‘Are you doing your part?’” said Leffel.
Leffel realizes the importance of The Century Council's campaign and this is also emphasized in the alcohol server training classes, Techniques of Alcohol Management. Instructors across the state teach retailers third party sales prevention techniques and how to spot a fake identification.
Ed O’Neil added, “Underage drinking is against the law in Alaska. Period. Brown Jug and its employees are proud to participate in today’s event. We will wear our buttons and encourage parents to communicate with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking.”
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 website at www.centurycouncil.org.
The Century Council