The Texas Senate and House of Representatives today recognized April as Alcohol Responsibility Month as “a welcome opportunity to call attention to the work that must be done to further reduce the tragic impact of drunk driving and underage drinking in Texas.”
The Senate and House approved SR 536 by Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and HR 1117 sponsored by Rep. Tracy King, D-Uvalde, to “encourage all Texans to make responsible decisions regarding the consumption of alcohol and to support efforts to reduce drunk driving and underage drinking.’’
Representatives from Responsibility.org, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission provided an exhibit in the Capitol with educational resources on ways to curb drunk driving and underage drinking and tips on how to drink responsibly for adults choosing to drink.
“Parents are the leading influence on a teen’s decision to drink, or not to drink, alcohol. Alcohol Responsibility Month is a perfect time to talk to Texans of all ages about the facts behind underage drinking and steps we can take to educate our children and parents,” said Chris R. Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council and Responsibility.org. “When people know how alcohol impacts them, they feel empowered to make smart decisions.’’
In addition, Responsibility.org unveiled an anti-underage drinking public service announcement (PSA) featuring Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Olympic athlete and champion swimmer Nathan Adrian. The PSA encourages parents to talk with their kids about saying “yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “no” to underage drinking as part of Responsibility.org’s Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program. The PSA can be accessed here.
- Underage Drinking: In 2016-17, 17 percent of 12-20-year-olds in Texas reported they consumed alcohol in the past month, which is a decrease of 36 percent since 2008-2009. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, November 2018)
- Drunk Driving Fatalities: In 2017, 1,468 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in Texas, a decrease of nearly 1 percent from the previous year. There were 5.2 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 Texans in 2017, a decrease of 3.4 percent over the past decade. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration / Fatality Analysis Reporting System November 2018)
- Drunk Driving Fatalities Among Youth (Under 21): 173 young Texans under the age of 21 were killed in drunk driving fatal crashes in 2017, a 2.4 percent increase from the previous year.
- There were 2 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 Texans under the age of 21, a decrease of 15 percent from 2008 to 2017. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration / Fatality Analysis Reporting System November 2018)
The Distilled Spirits Council is the leading voice for distilled spirits in the United States and serves as the industry’s advocate across the nation. Responsibility.org, funded by leading distillers, leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol.