Greensboro, N.C. — In advance of the winter holiday season, Katie Alley of Greensboro Alcoholic Beverage Control and Erik Strickland of The Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by the nation's leading distillers, launched a public awareness campaign to prevent underage drinking. 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 Battleground Store on Battleground Avenue.
"We are unveiling our 'We Don't Serve Teens' campaign today to help
prevent underage purchases and consumption of alcohol not only during
the holiday season, but also 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 Erik Strickland of The Century Council.
To determine parents' perspectives on the issue of underage drinking, in particular the legal consequences, 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 and 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%)
- 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 Alley. "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. What better time to talk to your kids than the holiday season, when opportunities abound. When you talk, they really do listen."
Working with the Federal Trade Commission and other national organizations including The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), The American Beverage Licensees (ABL), and The Charmer Sunbelt Group, The Century Council will distribute point of purchase materials to retailers and community organizations across the nation 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, cold case stickers, register signs, and ceiling danglers.
The Century Council has chosen North Carolina as the first state to launch the "We Don’t Serve Teens" campaign and will distribute public service announcements to television stations that serve Asheville, Greensboro and Charlotte. 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