DISCUS

DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL URGES SWIFT PASSAGE OF MARYLAND BILL AIMED AT CURBING UNDERAGE DRINKING

February 27, 2006 07:00 PM
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) submitted testimony today to the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support of a bill that would revoke a driver’s license for a person who is found guilty of repeatedly and knowingly furnishing alcohol illegally to an individual under 21 years of age. “The distilled spirits industry fully supports this important legislation and urges its swift passage,” said DISCUS Vice President Jay Hibbard, whose organization has supported similar responsibility legislation in numerous states. “This legislation will serve as an effective deterrent to adults who knowingly provide alcohol illegally to those under the legal purchase age.” S.B. 757 would suspend for up to 60 days the driver’s license of any person found guilty of illegally furnishing an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21, or for knowingly and willfully allowing the illegal possession or consumption of an alcoholic beverage by an individual under 21 at the person’s residence. A second offense within a three year period would carry up to a 120 day suspension. Under the bill, a third offense within a three year period would result in revocation. The bill is sponsored by Senators Rob Garagiola, Richard Colburn, Patrick Hogan, Paula Hollinger, J. Robert Hooper and Rona Kramer. “Data from the National Academy of Sciences, the Federal Trade Commission and the American Medical Association show most youth who drink obtain alcohol primarily through non-commercial sources, such as family and friends,” said Hibbard. “A combination of public education outreach, effective penalties, such as driver’s license revocation, and comprehensive enforcement will enhance each community’s efforts to reduce underage drinking.” Hibbard noted that the distilled spirits industry has a long history of working with communities nationwide to combat underage drinking and drunk driving. He cited as examples the work of The Century Council, a not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers, which has programs available for communities and parents to reduce underage drinking and drunk driving. For more information regarding these programs, visit www.centurycouncil.org. CONTACT: Public Affairs Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:
 

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