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Beer Institute Recognizes Alcohol Awareness Month



April 9, 2012


Rachel Gartner-



As Proms, Graduations, and Summer Break Near, April is Critical Month for Alcohol Education

WASHINGTON, DC-– Today, the Beer Institute is recognizing National Alcohol Awareness Month by reemphasizing the industry’s commitment to measures that help prevent underage drinking and drunk driving. In the past year, significant progress has been made on both fronts. The most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) shows the rate of drunk- driving fatalities is at its lowest since tracking began in 1982. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that youth binge and heavy drinking rates were also at record low rates.

“With April being National Alcohol Awareness Month, it is an appropriate time to talk about our shared efforts to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving,” said Joe McClain, president of the Beer Institute. “As the end of the school year approaches along with milestone events like prom and graduation, the Beer Institute and its members are committed to educating youth about making smart, responsible choices. Our members continue to partner with law enforcement, community groups, schools, government, and others to address underage drinking and drunk driving. With each at record low rates, these efforts are clearly having a positive impact. But there is always more to be done, and the beer industry will work to strengthen these partnerships and do everything it can to ensure our products are consumed responsibly.”

The industry has made significant efforts and investments towards public safety, education, and prevention campaigns. These efforts include:

  • Anheuser-Busch introduced Family Talk About Drinking more than two decades ago to help parents talk with their teens about underage drinking.  In 2011, the company partnered with certified parent coach MJ Corcoran to refresh the program and include social media components (!/ABFamilyTalk). The company and its nationwide network of distributors also distribute tools to help retailers serve and sell alcohol responsibly, and post signage to remind customers they will be asked to show a valid I.D. when they purchase alcohol.
  • MillerCoors implements a number of drunk driving prevention initiatives in partnership with retailers and distributors to promote safe ride alternatives. Its flagship alternative transportation program, Miller Lite Free Rides, provided its three millionth ride during the St. Patrick’s Day program and will celebrate its 25th anniversary on New Year’s Eve 2012.
  • HEINEKEN USA is proud to offer support for Taxi Magic, a nationally accessible smartphone application connecting consumers to local taxicabs. The program has been highlighted as a top travel app by both Apple and DROID, and provided over 900,000 rides in 2011. Additionally, HEINEKEN USA is a founding member of the Health Alliance on Alcohol, offering free resources to parents and mentors to encourage discussions with teens about various alcohol issues such as prom, graduation, teen driving and access to alcohol. Materials are available in English and Spanish, and can be viewed or downloaded
  • Crown Imports works to include an element of responsible programming in major sponsorships like the U.S. Open of Surfing, which draws over 500,000 spectators, by providing free shuttle bus service and taxi vouchers for surfing fans. Crown Imports also partners with public transportation, like the Chicago Transit Authority and the Washington DC Transit Authority (Metro), to offer “safe-rides home” over holiday time periods.

Both the federal government and academic institutions report positive trends in reducing alcohol misuse. The HHS Study found that the rate of current alcohol consumption among underage youths aged 12 to 20 declined 3 percent since 2009 and 9 percent since 2002 to 26.3 percent, a record low. It also found the rate of current alcohol use among youths aged 12 to 17 is also at a record low.

Last December, the DOT found drunk- driving fatalities had dropped 5 percent in 2010 from 2009, and 52 percent between 1982 and 2010. Last year marked the fifth consecutive year of declines in drunk-driving fatalities.

A December 2011 study by the University of Michigan also documented progress in reducing underage drinking. The study of eighth, tenth and twelfth graders found that alcohol consumption has continually been on a gradual decline among teens, reaching historically low levels in 2011.

For more information on the beer industry’s responsibility initiatives, visit


The Beer Institute, established in 1986, is the national trade association for the brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. The Institute is committed to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: