December 28, 2001

Beer Industry Helps Make Holiday Celebrations Safe

Brewers are urging those celebrating this holiday season to do so responsibly and utilize some of the many programs designed by the brewing industry to help make holiday celebrations safe.

Major brewers are leaders in providing information to the public urging safe and responsible consumption, and their creativity and commitment is demonstrated in each of the programs that educate the public about responsible enjoyment of their products.

Responsible party planning is one of the best ways to provide a safe and successful holiday celebration, according to Beer Institute, the national trade association representing brewers and suppliers to the industry, and Jeff Becker, president of the association explained that there are some basic steps people can take to ensure safe and responsible celebrations, including:

— Serve food with alcoholic beverages

— Make non-alcoholic drinks available

— Serve each guest only one drink at a time

— Discontinue to serve alcohol at least one hour before the party ends

One of the most effective programs to date is the designated driver program, with hundreds of millions of Americans either having been a designated driver or been driven home by one.

Some examples of the designated driver programs include:

— Non alcohol beverages or discounts on food from bars or restaurants in exchange for being named the designated driver in a group and refraining from drinking on that occasion

— Community service programs that work with law enforcement, public safety agencies and other organizations to provide transportation alternatives

— Pre-paid phone cards to help customers at restaurants and bars arrange a safe ride home.

"Over the years, these and other programs have leveraged tremendous support and involvement from business associates, citizen groups, parents, and other critical partners in the fight against alcohol abuse," Becker said.

He added that for more than two decades, members of the brewing industry have been proud to be part of the solution in reducing drunk driving and alcohol abuse through their involvement of programs and activities in such areas as prevention, treatment, education, research, outreach and more. In fact, these efforts are helping to push alcohol abuse at, or near, their lowest levels — ever.

According to recent government data, the number of people killed in drunk-driving crashes has declined 28 percent since 1990 and 37 percent since 1982, going from 18,444 in 1982 to 11,529 in 2000. Even more significantly, the number of people killed in teenage drunk-driving crashes has declined 38 percent since 1990 and 62 percent since 1982, going from 3,597 in 1982 to 1,351 in 2000.

Becker emphasized, "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. That's why brewers remain dedicated to finding and adopting creative and effective programs to address alcohol abuse."

Return to the Frontpage