Austin, TX — Representative Todd Smith (R-District 92); Representative Rob Eissler (R-District 15); Alan Steen, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) Administrator; and Shannon Adams, field director with The Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, arrived at the Texas State Capitol today to showcase a national public education and awareness campaign. The demonstration concludes a week-long South Texas University tour co-sponsored by the TABC. The Century Council’s national bilingual effort is a response to research demonstrating that seven out of ten adults report that they do not know the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving in their own state.
“Knowing the law and knowing how alcohol affects your individual
blood alcohol concentration are key factors to making a good decision
about beverage alcohol,” said Representative Smith. “The Century
Council’s Blood Alcohol Education campaign is a great resource for
informing Texan adults about both of these issues.”
At the heart of the educational campaign is the Blood Alcohol Educator (BAE) CD-ROM, a
credit card sized CD-ROM in both Spanish and English that educates the user on how alcohol influences their BAC level. Highlighting the campaign is a colorful van dubbed the Blood Alcohol Educator (BAE) that is traveling the country to distribute the CD-ROMs. In six years’ time, the project has evolved into a successful national tour. To date, the BAE Van has traveled to 45 states and the District of Columbia — a total of over 250,000 miles.
“According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1,709 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Texas in 2003, a decrease of nearly 6 percent. Sadly, 342 of those fatalities were among youth under 21. These numbers are far too high,” said Alan Steen, TABC Administrator. “I am encouraged that The Century Council has made it a priority to bring this program to Texas. We must continue to work together to reduce the number of lives lost.”
“There were far too many lives lost in Texas last year due to drunk driving. Awareness programs like the Blood Alcohol Educator are important because they remind Texans about the dangerous consequences of drunk driving,” said Representative Smith.
“Underage drinking combined with driving is an American tragedy,” said Eissler.
“Driving across the country in the BAE van provides us with a personal approach to educating Americans about the dangers of drunk driving, and for those individuals under the age of 21, the only decision is not to drink,” said Shannon Adams of The Century Council.
The user-friendly vehicle converts into an interactive cyber-café that includes three computer terminals which allow visitors to use the BAE CD-ROM to estimate their BAC level based on gender, weight and the type and number of drinks consumed at the BAE CD-ROM’s virtual bar. In addition to reflecting a person’s BAC level, the CD-ROM includes a virtual clock that demonstrates how long it will take for an individual’s BAC level to return to .00.
Adams added, “We hope this grassroots educational and awareness campaign will maximize its impact and reduce the distinct awareness gap among Americans of what BAC laws are and how the law affects individuals differently. Additionally, we at The Council encourage everyone to log onto our website — www.b4udrink.org — to download the BAE CD-ROM.”
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