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Lori Levy
Beer Institute


Washington, D.C., August 28, 2000 -- With a new school year about to begin, America's brewers are spotlighting some of the programs they have designed that have helped dramatically reduce underage drinking over the past two decades. According to Beer Institute, the trade association for America's brewers, the best ways to encourage responsible drinking and prevent abuse are education and awareness.

"As parents, one of the most important tasks we face is helping our children make good decisions about the many challenges they face in life. This includes whether or not to drink." said Jeff Becker, president, Beer Institute.

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.
  • 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).

All of the programs addressing underage drinking carry the explicit message that a young person's decisions about alcohol should be based on self-respect and respect for the law. That means not drinking before they are legally old enough and developing responsible attitudes toward drinking, if they choose to drink as an adult.

Some of the programs include:

  • Family Talk About Drinking -- Recognizing that parents have the greatest influence on their children's decisions about drinking, "Family Talk" helps prevent underage drinking by encouraging open, honest communication between parents and children. Developed by an advisory panel of education, family counseling, child psychology and alcohol treatment professionals, the "Family Talk" parent guide is available in five languages Ð English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. For a free copy, call 1-800-359-TALK or visit
  • Let's Talk -- This book provides parents with basic information about alcohol and drinking, so that we can have an informed discussion with our children, especially before they become teenagers. It offers some suggestions about how to have a good, productive dialogue with our children. It also suggests ways we can continue to set a good example for our children. For more information, please visit
  • An Apple a Day -- This is a prevention education curriculum designed specifically for students from preschool through fourth grade. Its main goal is to build literacy and critical thinking skills in young children to help them avoid substance abuse and other unhealthy, risky behaviors now and as they grow up. For more information, please visit

Other industry-supported programs include:

  • BACCHUS (Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students) Peer Education Network -- With nearly 800 chapters across the country, this student-driven organization uses a peer-education training model to work with Greek houses and residence halls to promote alternatives to alcohol abuse.
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators -- NASPA represents more than 6,000 student affairs administrators and professionals on approximately 1,200 campuses addressing issues such as substance abuse, responsible decision-making and conflict resolution.
  • TIPS for the University -- This specially designed TIPS (Training in Intervention Procedures for Servers of Alcohol) training program focuses on campus situations that might involve alcohol and provides techniques for handling them.

For more information on these and other industry programs, please call 1-800 379-BREW or visit


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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