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Virginia ABC Salutes Alcohol Awareness Month with Release of New Public Service Announcement

April 09, 2014

News Release Contact:

Kathleen Shaw - (804) 213-4640
Email: pubrel@abc.virginia.gov

Virginia ABC Salutes Alcohol Awareness Month with Release of New Public Service Announcement

  • April is Alcohol Awareness Month
  • ABC releases new public service announcement

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has released its newest public service announcement, “Never Stop Protecting,” to highlight the importance of a strong bond between parents and children in the fight against underage drinking.

“It’s never too soon to start a conversation with kids about the risks of alcohol use,” said Katie Weaks, ABC education and prevention manager. “We also remind citizens that providing alcohol to children’s friends, neighbors or others under the age of 21 is against the law.” The PSA will be broadcast in markets across the state and is currently posted on the agency’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/vaabc.

Since 1987 the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has recognized April as Alcohol Awareness Month. Throughout the 30 days local, state and national organizations set goals to increase public awareness and understanding of alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.

Alcohol use by young people has dangerous consequences and is the focus of this year’s campaign. Annually, more than 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and thousands more are injured. In addition:

  • Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America's youth, and is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
  • Those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at or after age 21.
  • More than 1,700 college students in the U.S. are killed each year—about five a day—as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
  • Twenty-five percent of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
  • Underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually.

“ABC works hard to lead the commonwealth in alcohol prevention and community education initiatives,” said ABC Chief Communications and Research Officer Eddie Wirt. “The agency is dedicated to promoting responsible consumption by those of legal age and a zero tolerance for underage consumption.”

In addition to the new PSA, ABC has implemented multiple education and prevention initiatives, including a grant program that will award a combined $64,000 to community organizations across the state; a College Tour conference that advocates healthy choices and social responsibility to Virginia college students; the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP), which strives to empower teens to keep their schools and communities alcohol and drug free; and a continued partnership with the Alcohol and Aging Awareness Group (AAAG).

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The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.7 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 346 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now in its 80th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.

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2014
  • Virginia ABC Salutes Alcohol Awareness Month with Release of New Public Service Announcement