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Lori Levy
Beer Institute

Data Shows Programs are Working

Washington, DC, April 10, 2000 - Reducing drunk driving and alcohol abuse continue to be a top priority for the nation's brewers, and recent studies indicate significant progress in these areas, according to Beer Institute. Brewers and beer wholesalers will meet this week at their annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

"For almost 20 years, members of the brewing industry have been working to be part of the solution to reduce underage drinking, drunk driving and other abuse of our products," said John Bowlin, chairman of Beer Institute and president and CEO of Miller Brewing Company. "Together, brewers and wholesalers have dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade toward research, education and prevention programs."

Those efforts are working. One of the most impressive public policy success stories of the last two decades is the decline in alcohol abuse. "We have made important progress in promoting responsible drinking and combating abuse. The collective commitment of brewers, wholesalers, retailers, educational organizations and elected officials, along with law enforcement organizations and community groups is working to reduce drunk driving and underage drinking," said Patrick Stokes, president, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., and Chairman of Anheuser-Busch International, Inc.

The statistic, all from government sources, speak for themselves:

  • The percentage of teens, ages 12 through 17, who report having a drink in the last 30 days is 45 percent lower in 1998 than it was in 1982.
  • The percentage of college freshmen who say they drink beer frequently or occasionally is 32 percent lower in 1999 than it was in 1982.
  • Fatalities in drunk driving crashes decreased 41 percent from 1982 to 1998.
  • Fatalities in crashes involving drunk teenage drivers (ages 16-20) decreased 61 percent from 1982-1998.

Virtually no other policy challenge has been addressed more successfully than efforts to reduce drunk driving and alcohol abuse. Jeff Becker, president of Beer Institute said, "No one is more concerned about problems caused by alcohol abuse, or is doing more to educate the public about responsible consumption than members of the beer industry. While we recognize that there is more work that needs to be done, we will work hard to continue programs that help reduce alcohol abuse."

"This conference enables the beer industry to see how far we've come and promote the efforts that our industry has made to members of government," said David Rehr, president, National Beer Wholesalers Association.


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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