Helena, MT — In advance of Fourth of July weekend, Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath; and Shauna Helfert, Administrator Liquor Control Division, Department of Revenue; joined Erik Strickland of The Century Council, to launch a public awareness campaign designed to prevent underage drinking and discourage adults from providing alcohol to minors. The Century Council is a national not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers. It is dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. The launch was held at the M-T Glass Liquor Store on 11th 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 percent 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
Based on the survey data stating that 65 percent of youth who drink get alcohol from their family and friends, The Century Council 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 components to the campaign are a 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA), buttons and informational bottleneck hangers that provide tips for parents on how to talk with their kids about alcohol that will be distributed at the point-of-purchase.
“Among 12-20 year olds, 28.8 percent reported alcohol consumption in the past month and in Montana, the numbers are worse,” McGrath said, citing the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey showing that more than 48 percent of Montana high schoolers admitted drinking alcohol in the prior 30 days.
“More needs to be done, and it starts with adults. Parents, grandparents and mentors need to talk to young people about alcohol and be good role models,” he said. “More importantly, they need to remember that providing alcohol to young people is illegal and irresponsible.”
“While we need to continue discouraging underage sales, we also need to take additional steps. We need to recognize that kids get alcohol from other sources, and that kids can be very creative about obtaining alcohol,” said Helfert. “Everyone participating in today’s event is key to this campaign’s success, from adults to retailers to law enforcement. All of us need to play a role in the fight against underage drinking, to lower — and hopefully eliminate — underage drinking in Montana.”
The Century Council will distribute the public service announcements to television stations that serve Helena 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-ofsale 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.
The Century Council