Oklahoma City, OK — In advance of back to school season, Attorney General Drew Edmondson; Mike Jacoby, Central Liquor; Keith Burt, ABLE Commission; Chief Bill Citty, Oklahoma City Police Department; and Dale Blackburn, Cellar Wine and Spirits; joined Shannon Adams of The Century Council to launch a public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking and discourage adults from providing alcohol to minors. The launch was held at Cellar Wine and Spirits on North May Avenue.
“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.
Based on the survey data stating that 65% of youth who drink obtain alcohol from their family and friends, The Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers and dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, created a campaign that 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 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.
“It’s a crime for anyone under 21 to possess alcohol, and it’s a crime to provide alcohol to a minor. As a prosecutor, I’ve seen the effects of underage alcohol consumption, and I’ve also seen the crimes that can accompany it - drunk driving, vandalism and assault, just to name a few,” Edmondson said. “I am proud to stand with these fellow law officers to help stop underage drinking before it starts. The more we educate, the fewer we must arrest. The message for parents is simple - be your kid’s parent, not their bartender.”
“Alcohol is accessible to our youth far too often, particularly now that we are approaching the holiday weekend and back to school season. Among 12-20 year olds, more than 30 percent reported past month alcohol consumption in Oklahoma. Clearly, more work needs to be done. Protecting the safety, particularly the safety of our city’s most precious resource — our young people — is a top priority for the commission,” said Burt.
“The tips for parents include: be a good role model; disapprove of underage drinking; supervise your child including their online activities; reinforce that underage drinking is against the law. While it is encouraging to see that underage drinking among high school seniors is on the decline, we must continue to do our part in supporting awareness programs like The Council’s campaign,” said Jacoby. “Central Liquor is proud to be doing that by distributing these materials in and around Oklahoma City.”
Chief Citty said, “In 2004, 33 youths under the age of 18 were arrested for driving under the influence, 40 youths were arrested for liquor law violations, and 50 youths were arrested for drunkenness in Oklahoma City. We will be working aggressively during the back to school season and throughout the entire year to keep alcohol out of our local teens’ hands.”
Blackburn said, “I am on the front lines of the battle against underage drinking every day at Cellar Wine and Spirits. We all have a role to play in the fight against underage drinking. The Century Council’s program is just one of the many examples of how we can work to prevent underage drinking and purchasing of alcohol here in Oklahoma.”
The Century Council will distribute the public service announcements to television stations that serve Oklahoma City and has launched the campaign in over 70 other markets nationwide. The campaign will continue to be rolled out in cities across the country through 2006.
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.
Launched in 1991, The Century Council is funded by America's leading distillers. The Council'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 Council, log onto www.centurycouncil.org.
The Century Council