American Beverage Licensees Joins 2009 "We Don't Serve Teens" Campaign

American Beverage Licensees (ABL) announced its support today for the 2009 "We Don't Serve Teens" public education campaign to prevent teenagers from gaining access to beverage alcohol and to alert those of legal drinking age to the dangers of providing beverage alcohol to minors.

In what has become an annual effort to promote compliance with the legal drinking age of 21, ABL and its state and regional affiliates, in coordination with the FTC, will be distributing campaign materials to ABL's nearly 20,000 members in 34 states across the country. These educational materials will be used in bars, taverns, restaurants and stores where alcohol is legally sold.

Studies have shown that nearly 2 out of 3 minors who consume beverage alcohol get it from friends and family, and that parents have the most influence on whether or not their child will drink alcohol. In fact, the federal government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has found that ninety percent of underage drinkers were either given alcohol for free or had someone else purchase it for them.

"Retailers' message to those under the legal age is clear: 'We don't want your business.'" said Harry Wiles, ABL's executive director. "The other important message that retailers want to send through the We Don't Serve Teens campaign is to their adult customers. By reminding adults and parents that their involvement is critical in underage access to alcohol prevention efforts, retailers are doing their part to be responsible members of their community."

ABL joins the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a coalition of public- and private-sector organizations in supporting the campaign. In addition to law enforcement agencies and consumer groups, beverage alcohol industry groups have joined in the support of the campaign. These groups include but are not limited to the Department of the Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau; the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association; alcohol licensing and control authorities in numerous states; the Beer Institute, the Charmer-Sunbelt Group, Distilled Spirits Counsel, Wine Institute; and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.

The FTC's Web site offers free materials that can be downloaded for display and use, including campaign signs. It also features information about the rates and risks of teen drinking, links to state alcohol laws, and things that people can do and say to prevent underage access to beverage alcohol.

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