San Antonio, TX — In advance of Cinco de Mayo, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-28); Lieutenant Christina Guerra of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission; Ted Thomas, Glazer’s Distributors; and Steve Saiz of Gabriel’s Wine & Spirits; joined Shannon Adams of 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 bilingual public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking and discourage adults from providing alcohol to minors. The launch was held at Gabriel’s Wine and Spirits on Callaghan Road.
“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 Adams.
“Underage drinking has declined 31% proportionally from 70% in 1982 to 48% in 2004 in terms of past month alcohol consumption among high school seniors, according to the 2004 Monitoring the Future study. In Texas last year, 1,255 youths under age 18 were arrested for driving under the influence, 5,469 youths were arrested for liquor law violations, and 3,967 youths were arrested for drunkenness. Clearly, more work needs to be done to fight underage drinking,” said Congressman Cuellar.
Based on the 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) available in English and Spanish, buttons and informational bilingual 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 Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission 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 Lieutenant Guerra.
The Century Council will distribute the public service announcements to television stations in San Antonio and has launched the campaign in 53 other markets nationwide. The campaign will continue to be rolled out in cities across the country through 2005.
“Elected officials, advocacy groups, law enforcement, wholesalers, retailers — all of us — need to play a role in the fight against underage drinking to lower, and hopefully eliminate, underage drinking in Texas. We want to be a part of that fight, which is why we are here today in support of The Century Council’s campaign. We hope parents in Texas will answer an overwhelming ‘Yes!’ when asked ‘Are you doing your part?’” said Ted Thomas.
Steve Saiz added, “Underage drinking is against the law in Texas. Period. Gabriel’s Wine & Spirits is proud to participate in today’s event. We will do everything we can to 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. San Antonio is the 54th launch of The Century Council’s latest campaign.For more information about the program, log onto The Council’s Web site at www.centurycouncil.org.
The Century Council