North Carolina Legislature Sends Tough Underage Drinking Legislation to Governor
Bill Revokes Driver’s Licenses of Those Who Illegally Provide Alcohol to Minors
Raleigh, NC – The North Carolina State Legislature today passed important underage drinking legislation that will revoke the driver’s license of any person convicted of giving alcohol to, or aiding the purchase of alcohol by, an underage person—a move lauded by the Distilled Spirits Council as a stern message to adults that it’s illegal to give alcohol to someone under the age of 21. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed.
“Most often, teens receive their first messages about drinking alcohol in their homes,” said Representative Ty Harrell, who sponsored the legislation. “Parents are truly the best educators and as a community we all must work to keep our teens safe. One death from underage drinking and driving is too many, and North Carolina families have suffered tremendously from these preventable tragedies. As a result, we are stiffening the penalty for providing alcohol to those under 21.”
House Bill 1277 will revoke the driver’s license for a period of one year of anyone convicted of procuring alcoholic beverages to or for minors. The bill would take effect December 1, 2007.
“Studies show most youth who drink obtain alcohol primarily through non-commercial sources such as parents, family, friends and other adults over 21,” said David Wojnar, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President, pointing to research from the National Academy of Sciences, the Federal Trade Commission and other institutions. “We commend Representative Harrell and the legislature for passing a tough bill that will serve as an effective deterrent to anyone who provides alcohol to those under the legal purchase age.”
“Laws that crack down on adults who illegally provide alcohol to minors are important tools states can use to reduce underage drinking in their communities,” Wojnar added.
Wojnar noted that the distilled spirits industry has a long history of working with communities nationwide 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.