Earlier this week, the Beer Institute released a white paper, Commitment to Responsibility, which outlines the broad efforts by brewers and beer importers to reduce drunk driving and underage drinking through paid advertisements, programs to work with parents and retailers, and alternative rides home.
“People in the beer business think of responsibility every day. We are parents and neighbors ourselves, and like everyone else, we want safe communities and safe roads,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “This paper outlines just some of what brewers and beer importers do every day to reduce drunk driving and underage drinking. Our industry has been invited to be part of the conversation about solutions precisely because of the work outlined here in our Commitment to Responsibility white paper.”
The Beer Institute distributed the paper to every member of Congress and hosted an Industry Insights Panel on Capitol Hill, where congressional staff and others were invited to pose questions and engage representatives of brewers and beer importers involved in responsibility work.
Data in the white paper is largely collected from third-party sources, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Among the work outlined in the paper:
- More than 63 percent of American adults report having been a designated driver or having used one.
- In 2013 alone, brewers and beer importers supplied more than 856,000 consumers alternative rides home.
- A 2014 report by the FTC found that more than 97 percent of all media impressions by the alcohol industry were seen by legal drinking age audiences.
- More than 200,000 families have taken part in brewer-funded outreach designed to provide parents the resources they need to talk to their kids about drinking; public research demonstrates that parents are the most influential on teen attitudes toward drinking.
The core of what the public sees from brewers and importers is overseen by the Beer Institute’s Advertising and Marketing Code, which sets industry standards and guides company practices. But the paper also examines programs involving college students, support for training servers to check IDs, and engagement with law enforcement, retailers, and community leaders.
“Drunk driving fatalities are half what they were in 1982. Underage drinking is near historic lows. But we know there is more work to be done. That is why the member companies of the Beer Institute are committed to responsibility,” McGreevy said.