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FOR IMMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Lori Levy
Beer Institute
202-737-2337

TEEN DRINKING DOWN NEARLY 50 PERCENT SINCE 1982

Washington, DC, December 14, 2000 - Alcohol use among American adolescents remains unchanged, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.

Jeff Becker, president, Beer Institute, said, "While some indicators of underage drinking have remained unchanged in studies from the past 3 or 4 years, tremendous progress has been made in the past 15 years, and teen drinking is 45% lower today than in 1982.

Beer industry members strongly oppose underage drinking, and they are working in partnership with parents, educators, law enforcement officials and many others to implement programs that help stop underage drinking before it starts.

"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," Becker said.

  • 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.
  • Fatalities in crashes involving drunk teenage drivers, ages 16-20, decreased 61% from 1982 to 1998.

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

While there has been significant progress in the fight against underage drinking, brewers recognize that there is more work that needs to be done, and they are continuing their commitment to help reduce alcohol abuse.

The study, "Monitoring the Future", is conducted at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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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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