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FOR IMMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Lori Levy
Beer Institute
202-737-2337

PROGRESS BEING MADE IN REDUCING UNDERAGE DRINKING

Beer Institute Testifies on Industry Initiatives Before Kansas Committee

Topeka, Kansas, October 11, 2000 Teen drinking has declined steadily through a combination of education, parental involvement, enforcement, and public awareness, according to Jeff Becker, president, Beer Institute. Becker will be testifying before the Interim Committee on Federal and State Affairs, October 12 on brewers’ initiatives on underage drinking.

For more than 20 years, members of the brewing industry have been proud to be a part of the solution to reducing underage drinking. Through cooperation and commitment by parents, schools, community volunteers, government officials, business leaders and the private sector, these efforts are working:

· The percentage of teens, ages 12-17, who report having a drink in the last 30 days is 45% lower in 1998 than it was in 1982.

· The percentage of college freshmen who say they drink beer frequently or occasionally is 32% lower in 1999 than it was in 1982.

· The percentage of high school seniors who report having five or more drinks in a row in the last two weeks has declined by 24 % during the same period.

(source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Transportation, and UCLA).

In his testimony, Becker stressed the brewers’ commitment to reducing underage drinking, and the many initiatives brewers have developed to help discourage underage drinking. Becker explained, “No one is more concerned about problems caused by underage drinking, or is doing more to educate the public about responsible, legal consumption than members of the brewing industry.”

Becker noted that there is certainly more to be done to reduce underage drinking, but the public should be aware even proud of what has been accomplished in fighting underage drinking. He added, “As president of Beer Institute, as a parent, and as a concerned citizen, I can assure you the brewing industry will maintain its efforts to reach young people with effective messages to discourage underage drinking, drunk driving and all forms of alcohol abuse.”

The Interim Committee on Federal and State Affairs is conducting a study on underage drinking and holding this hearing to collect information on the programs and initiatives to combat underage drinking.

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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 development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility.

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