PARTNERSHIP Celebrates 30 Years of Reducing Unsafe Alcohol Behavior

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility marks 30 years reducing unsafe and illegal alcohol behavior

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Marking a 30th anniversary is no small thing, especially when your record of achievement has been so telling. For, the numbers talk: Since its inception in 1991, teenage alcohol consumption has dropped from 80 percent to 44 percent, drunk driving fatalities have declined 36 percent, and youth binge drinking has declined nearly 50 percent. 

Funded by distilled spirits companies, the mission of the organization is to eliminate underage drinking and drunk driving, and work to end all impaired driving, empowering adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices.

As its anniversary approaches, there are many plans afoot and lots of excitement, says president and CEO Chris Swonger.

“We have a number of initiatives focused on education, collaboration, and defining the future of alcohol responsibility slated to celebrate our 30th anniversary,” he says. “The core message is that defining the future of alcohol responsibility needs to be a collaborative process. By launching a slate of new resources, hosting events and webinars, and promoting videos with key partners, we hope we can effectively communicate our core messages to the industry, fellow advocates, and consumers.”

Among ways to mark the milestone, the organization will work in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission and other industry partners to relaunch the “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors.

Also set: webinars on alcohol responsibility and a relaunch of the Alcohol 101 Plus platform, a resource for college students to make responsible decisions about alcohol, later this year.

“In addition to expanding our educational resources, we are focused on building new partnerships and programs to promote awareness of issues such as multi-substance impaired driving,” he says. In July, they’ll host the Impaired Driving Prevention Conference to launch the National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving (NASID) coalition focused on saving lives through DUI enforcement reforms.

The organization has been encouraged by the reception of the Computerized Assessment and Referral System (CARS) initiative, a collaboration with the Harvard Medical School Cambridge Health Alliance’s Division on Addiction to help the criminal justice system identify and address underlying mental health disorders contributing to risky behavior; in response to educators, they also recently expanded the curriculum of the “Ask Listen Learn” program to include a cannabis module.

Other efforts to combat impaired driving include STOP High-Risk Impaired Driving and the organization’s innovative Virtual Bar, a blood alcohol content calculator that helps users gain a better understanding of how drinks and other factors impact their BAC.

Among the jewels they intend to celebrate is the establishment of the Morris E. Chafetz Professorship at Harvard University, focused on expanding education concerning the role that personal factors and individual decisions and influences play in the responsible consumption of beverage alcohol. 

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to collaborate across a diverse set of stakeholders to achieve tangible progress toward our mission, helping to achieve record low numbers of underage drinking and impaired driving,” says Swonger.


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