We Don't Serve Teens Campaign Targets Underage Drinking and Works to Eliminate Teen Access to Alcohol
How communities can help keep drinking levels among teens at historic lows
Washington D.C. — Underage drinking levels are at historic lows, but there is work to be done to keep it that way. The best way to reduce underage drinking is to stop teens’ access to alcohol. Communities across the country—alcohol suppliers, retailers and distributors, alongside parents and prevention groups—have joined forces to support a campaign to stop teen drinking before it starts.
Originally launched in 2006, We Don’t Serve Teens is a national, multi-faceted initiative that invites consumers, businesses and organizations to join together to bring an end to underage drinking. Today, participating groups/orgs are voicing their commitment to the campaign and its important message that debuts a refreshed look and feel that is digitally modern, culturally inclusive, and demographically diverse. The motto heard around the country this week will be: “Don’t serve alcohol to teens. It’s unsafe. It’s illegal. It’s irresponsible.” Americans will not only see these underage drinking efforts within the stores and restaurants they visit -- they can also engage with the campaign online, hear messages on the radio and even see it shared by their favorite online influencer.
“Underage drinking has declined dramatically but remains a safety issue for teens that is often overlooked, disregarded, or takes a backseat to more pressing concerns,” said Chris Swonger, President and CEO of Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and Responsibility.org. “The We Don’t Serve Teens campaign brings a critical mass of public and private entities together to spotlight underage drinking prevention. We have made a lot of progress over the years and fewer teens are drinking alcohol. By working together, we hope to make even more progress on this important issue.”
In 1991, 80% of American teens had consumed alcohol at least once in their lifetime. Today, more than 3 out of 5 teens (64%) have never consumed alcohol. We should all take pride in this progress; yet the availability of alcohol to those under the legal drinking age remains high with 8 out of 10 high school seniors reporting it is easy for them to access alcohol. While there have been made significant strides in reducing underage drinking by working together, until underage drinking is eliminated there is still work to be done.
“Most teens who drink get their alcohol from ‘social’ sources, getting it from family and friends or taking it from a home without permission. This is unacceptable. We all play a part in preventing underage drinking, which is why this campaign is so important,” says Tom Cole, Chairman, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, and Senior Advisor to the Board, Republic National Distributing Company. “We must be vigilant to make sure that no one is selling, serving, or supplying alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age—ourselves included. Responsibility starts with us.”
“No retailer wants to sell alcohol to someone who is underage,” says John Bodnovich, Executive Director, American Beverage Licensees. “Retailers are on the front lines in communities across the country – we are proud to once again lead the effort to prevent underage drinking. We look forward to working with community partners as well as industry partners to keep alcohol out of teens’ hands and stop underage drinking.”
We Don’t Serve Teens is a national campaign dedicated to reducing underage drinking and stopping teens’ access to alcohol. This campaign was first launched in 2006 in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission and other public and private sector organizations. The control state agencies, state retail associations, and alcohol manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers listed below are all recommitting to the We Don’t Serve Teens campaign and getting this important message out – underage drinking is not acceptable. Campaign participants will not serve, sell, deliver, or supply alcohol to anyone unable to verify and authenticate the proper identification showing that they are of legal age to consume alcohol. Working together with families, the organizations driving this campaign will keep alcohol out of the hands of teens.
To learn more, visit WeDontServeTeens.org.
Current Partners Dedicated to We Don’t Serve Teens
Organizations and Industry Partners
- Allied Beverage Group
- American Beverage Licensees
- Breakthru Beverage Group
- Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)
- Martignetti Companies
- MGP Ingredients, Inc.
- Opici Family Distributing
- Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits
- Two Trees Distilling
- William Grant & Sons
- Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA)
- Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Texas
State Retail Associations
- ABC Stores of South Carolina
- Alabama Beverage Licensees Association
- Colorado Licensed Beverage Association
- Coloradans for Safety
- Florida Independent Spirits Association
- Illinois Licensed Beverage Association
- Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers
- Kentucky Association of Beverage Retailers
- Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania
- Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association
- Massachusetts Package Stores Association
- New York State Liquor Store Association
- Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma
- South Dakota Licensed Beverage Dealers & Gaming Association
- Tavern League of Wisconsin
- Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association
- Texas Food & Fuel Association
- Texas Package Stores Association
- United Beverage Retailers of Arkansas
Control State Retailers
- Idaho: Idaho State Liquor Division
- Maine: Maine State Liquor & Lottery Commission
- Montana: Montana Department of Revenue’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division
- Montgomery County, Maryland: Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services
- New Hampshire: New Hampshire Liquor Commission
- North Carolina: North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission
- Ohio: The Ohio Division of Liquor Control
- Oregon: Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission
- Virginia: Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority
- American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
- Association of Middle Level Educators (AMLE)
- Classroom Champions
- Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
- National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
- SHAPE America
- Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
- University of Virginia’s Gordie Center
Responsibility.org is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empower adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. Responsibility.org is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi USA, Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Campari Group; Constellation Brands; DIAGEO; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; Ole Smoky, LLC; Pernod Ricard USA; and William Grant & Sons. For more than 30 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families, and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. To learn more, please visit www.Responsibility.org.
About Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America is the national trade association representing the distribution tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 380 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80% of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States. To learn more, please visit www.wswa.org or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
About American Beverage Licensees
American Beverage Licensees is the preeminent national trade association for beverage alcohol retailers. Direct retail beverage alcohol sales in the United States generate more than 2.03 million well-paying jobs. ABL’s thousands of on-premise and off-premise licensee members are independent and often family-owned establishments. The beverage retailing industry pays over $27.9 billion in federal taxes and $20.0 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about ABL, visit www.ablusa.org.