DISTILLERS COMMEND GOVERNOR RENDELL AND THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD FOR SUPPORTING LAW ENFORCEMENT TARGETING ADULTS WHO PROVIDE ALCOHOL TO MINORS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council today applauded Governor Rendell and Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board for awarding police departments with grants to crack down on the adults who unlawfully provide alcohol to individuals under the age of 21. “According to the experts, adult friends and family members are the primary source of alcohol for underage drinkers,” said Peter Cressy, president of the Distilled Spirits Council, a national trade association representing the distilled spirits industry. “These worthwhile grants will support law enforcement officials in their effort to crack down on adults who knowingly purchase or provide alcohol to minors.” Cressy, a former college president, stated that data from the National Academy of Sciences, the Federal Trade Commission, the American Medical Association and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, show most youth who drink obtain alcohol primarily through non-commercial sources such as parents, family, friends and other adults over 21. The $60,000 in grants will be given to six local police departments as part of an innovative program funded by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. The grants will be used for conducting investigations after arrests or citations are issued, to identify how and from whom minors are obtaining alcohol and to cover training, overtime and other costs associated with the investigations. Cressy noted that the Distilled Spirits Council is supporting legislation before the Pennsylvania legislature aimed at stopping illegal youth alcohol access. Under S.B. 620, supported by the Council, individuals who knowingly provide alcohol to a minor will have their driver’s licenses suspended for 90 days for a first offense; 6 months for a second offense; and one year for a third or subsequent offense. Additionally, the Council is in support of S.B. 781, which increases penalties for those who provide or sell alcohol to a minor, which results in injury or death. Cressy stated that the distilled spirits industry has a long history of working with communities to combat underage drinking and drunk driving. He cited as examples the work of The Century Council, a not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers, which has programs available for communities and parents to reduce underage drinking and drunk driving. For more information regarding these programs, visit www.centurycouncil.org.