Portland, OR — Attorney General Hardy Myers; Phil Lang, Chairman, Oregon Liquor Control Commission; and Captain Jim Colt, Milwaukie Police Department; joined Ralph Blackman, Chairman and CEO of The Century Council, today to launch a public awareness campaign to prevent underage drinking. The Century Council is a national not-for-profit organization funded by the nation’s leading distillers and the new initiative, developed by The Federal Trade Commission and The Century Council, called “We Don’t Serve Teens,” is designed to inform adults that providing underage youth with alcohol is unsafe, illegal, and irresponsible. The launch took place at the Milwaukie Market Place Liquor Store on Oak Street.
“We are unveiling our ‘We Don’t Serve Teens’ campaign today to help
prevent underage purchases and consumption of alcohol throughout the
year. The Century Council has found that nearly one in five (17%)
adults believe it is acceptable for parents to provide alcohol to their
teenagers in their own home. It is our hope this campaign will
encourage parents to start and continue a dialogue with their teen
about the dangers of underage drinking. Turning a blind eye is as
irresponsible as putting a drink in their hands,” said Ralph Blackman
of The Century Council.
To determine parents’ perspective on the issue of adults providing alcohol to underage youth, The Century Council commissioned a survey of 1,000 adults. The results show that overwhelmingly, parents do not believe it is acceptable for other adults to provide beverage alcohol to underage youth. Ninety-six percent of adults said it is unacceptable for another parent or other adult to provide alcohol to their teenager without their permission. Further, all survey respondents said if they learned another parent or adult provided alcohol to their teenager without their permission, they would consider taking recourse against the other parent, or their child.
The top actions adults would take include:
• speaking with my child about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking (93%),
• call that adult and express my objections/feelings/opinions (86%),
• restrict my child's time at that family's house (80%),
• limit my child's relationship with that family (76%),
• notify other parents (74%), and
• punish my own child (69%).
Other actions adults report they would take if such an incident occurred include calling the police (44%), reporting the incident to the school (40%), and taking legal action, such as file charges, sue them, etc. (34%).
“Study after study shows that youth are obtaining the alcohol they drink from people they know,” said Attorney General Myers. “You may find it surprising that data shows that kids cite their parents as the leading influence over their decision to drink - or not to drink - alcohol. When you talk, they really do listen.”
“Among 12-20 year olds, more than 30 percent reported past month alcohol consumption in Oregon (SAMHSA),” said Phil Lang. “Protecting the safety, particularly the safety of our state’s most precious resource – our young people – is a top priority for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. 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 Oregon.”
“While it is certainly important to discourage underage sales, kids get alcohol from other sources, and kids can be very creative about obtaining alcohol,” said Captain Jim Colt. “Last year in Oregon, 197 youths under the age of 18 were arrested for driving under the influence, and 4,216 youths were arrested for liquor law violations. (UCR 2004). Parents, retail establishments, community groups – we all have a role to play in the fight against underage drinking.”
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will distribute point of purchase materials to 240 retail establishments in Oregon as a reminder to parents and other adults that providing alcohol to teens can mean serious consequences and to encourage them to speak up about underage drinking. Elements of the campaign include television and radio public service announcement, print ad, lapel pins, register signs, and posters.
The Century Council will distribute the public service announcement to television stations that serve Portland and Eugene and has launched the campaign in 20 other markets nationwide so far. The campaign will continue to be rolled out in cities across the country through 2007. For more information on the campaign or to order materials visit www.dontserveteens.gov or www.centurycouncil.org.
The Century Council