WASHINGTON, D.C. – With millions of students heading off to college this week, Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy, a former college president, today urged parents to talk to their college-bound sons and daughters about drinking. “The first six weeks of college are a very high-risk time as these young adults adjust to their new independence,” said Dr. Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council. “Parents should be sure to reinforce their discussions about alcohol with their sons and daughters before they head off to college.” Research shows that parents and other adults have the most influence over a youth’s decision to drink or refrain from drinking. Dr. Cressy offers parents the following tips for discussing alcohol with their college-bound young adults: 1. Be clear in your expectations about your son’s/daughter’s decisions about drinking. If your son/daughter is under 21, tell them you expect them to obey the law and not drink. If your son or daughter is 21 or older, tell them you expect them to drink responsibly and in moderation, if they choose to drink at all. 2. Use open-ended questions to begin a dialogue such as: ”What will you do if your roommate only wants to drink and party?” “What will you do if you find yourself at a party with only alcohol to drink?” 3. Address important topics such as family beliefs and values regarding drinking, how to get help on campus, and how to refuse a drink. 4. Be honest and direct about your own experiences with drinking. 5. Keep in close contact during the first six weeks to determine if your son or daughter is feeling overwhelmed, making friends, getting involved with activities and enjoying classes. 6. Make sure they know you are there to support and help them through this transition period. These tips are taken from the “Parents, you’re not done yet,” brochure developed by the distilled spirits industry’s not-for-profit organization, The Century Council, which is dedicated to fighting underage drinking and drunk driving. The brochure can be downloaded at The Century Council’s website, www.centurycouncil.org.