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Beer Institute renews its commitment to alcohol awareness.

Kicking off National Alcohol Awareness Month, Jeff Becker, President of the Beer Institute, recently noted the beer industry's commitment to further reducing illegal underage drinking and drunk driving.

"While there is more work to be done, we need to let people know that positive results have been achieved, and that sustained efforts can bring about further progress," said Mr. Becker.

Becker said that much of this progress can be seen in the Beer Institute "2004 Signs of Progress," a report that annually tracks the progress made in reducing underage drinking and drunk driving based on independent research and government data.

Some of the encouraging figures found in the 2004 Signs of Progress and other recent reports include:

* According to the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 82% of adolescents, ages 12 through 17, do not drink.

* In 2003, beer drinking among college freshmen reached the lowest level ever recorded since the annual UCLA American Freshman Survey began in 1966. The percentage of college freshmen who say they drink beer frequently or occasionally is 39% lower in 2003 than it was in 1982.

* Among six things that might affect their decisions about drinking, 73% of American youth (ages 8-17) identified their parents as a leading influence, according to the 2003 Roper Youth Report.

* Fatalities in drunk driving crashes decreased 37% from 1982 to 2002 according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2002, the percentage of total traffic fatalities that involved a drunk driver was 31%.

* The number of drunk driving fatalities per thousand licensed drivers is 50% lower in 2002 than it was in 1982, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

* According to U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of fatalities in teen (ages 16-20) drunk-driving crashes has decreased 61% from 1982 to 2002.

"The progress made in these areas is testament to the commitment by so many across our nation to promote responsible consumption of alcohol products," said Mr. Becker. "The beer industry has been working side by side with law enforcement, community activists, and parents to be one of the leaders in this area. Brewers have invested a substantial amount of time and resources over the last two decades in developing and implementing programs that promote responsible drinking, and address illegal underage drinking, drunk driving, and all forms of alcohol abuse."

Becker noted in particular the initiatives implemented by the beer industry that address underage drinking. These include distribution of more than five million free copies of materials in five languages to help parents talk to their children about alcohol. He also pointed out the industry's sponsorship of alcohol awareness programs on college campuses. In addition, brewers have sponsored seller and server training programs that help educate retail employees on how to check ID's to prevent underage consumption.

"This month, beer producers, beer wholesalers and retailers will have special events and programs to commemorate April as Alcohol Awareness Month. However, for the beer industry, every day is about promoting the safe and responsible consumption of our product by legal drinking age adults," added Mr. Becker.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 12, 2004
Words:513
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