WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council today applauded the Chairs of the Pennsylvania Senate Law and Justice Committee and the House Liquor Control Committee for introducing legislation that would suspend the driver’s license of persons who unlawfully provide alcohol to individuals under the age of 21 or who allow a minor to possess alcohol on property under his/her control. “Despite significant progress over the past 20 years, underage drinking remains a complex problem that persists in communities across the nation,” said Dr. Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council, a national trade association representing the distilled spirits industry. “Effective and enforced penalties, such as the driver’s license suspension for those who purchase or provide alcohol to minors, are important and effective tools to reducing underage drinking.” Under S.B. 620, sponsored by Sen. John Rafferty (R-44), 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. Under the current law, violators are required to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 for the first violation and $2,500 for each subsequent violation. In a related bill introduced today, S.B. 781, those who provide or sell alcohol to a minor, which results in injury or death, will face increased penalties. 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. “Diageo supports this legislation because it goes straight to the heart of the problem,” said Joe Luppino for Diageo North America, a member of the Distilled Spirits Council. “According to experts, adult friends and family members are the single biggest source of alcohol for underage drinkers.” 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.