Gov. Quinn proclaims April as Alcohol Awareness Month
ILCC kicks off statewide educational activities
DATE: March 31, 2011
CONTACT: Ted Penesis (email@example.com)
CHICAGO—Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed April as Alcohol Awareness Month in Illinois as state, county, and city officials gathered with liquor licensees, teenagers, hospitality industry executives, and prevention professionals to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking.
“We have a duty to ensure the safety of our young people and reducing underage drinking is vital to that mission,” said Governor Quinn. “By presenting a united front with prevention professionals, law enforcement, and officials at all levels of government, we are sending a powerful message to our youth: we care about their future and will do whatever it takes to help them make good decisions.”
As part of a month-long public awareness campaign during April, thousands of youth and adult volunteers will visit liquor stores throughout the state with signs, posters, decals, and stickers reminding adults that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors and for minors to use fake identification (see 2011 Sticker Shock Activities for a sampling of some of the upcoming community events).
“Friends and family over the age of 21 remain the primary source of alcohol for underage drinking,” said ILCC Executive Director Gloria Materre. “Parental responsibility, in particular, is one of the messages our volunteers are sharing with their communities. Thanks to the outstanding statewide support from state liquor licensees, parents are learning the effects of alcohol consumption on their children’s health and mental well-being. I am confident this valuable information will encourage both adults and teens to make more responsible choices.”
City of Chicago Alderman James Balcer (11th Ward) noted his ward serves as a good microcosm of society featuring diverse ethnic neighborhoods and residents at nearly every income level. “The health and social consequences of underage drinking cuts across all socio-economic groups,” said Balcer. “The consequences of underage drinking can last a lifetime, and be detrimental to a healthy, successful existence.” He also noted a recent American Medical Association study which revealed minor drinking can cause long-term and irreversible damage to the still-developing teenage brain.
“It’s important for families to understand that the health effects of alcohol consumption are very different for teenagers than for adults,” said Cook County Commissioner John P. Daley. "Underage drinking is a serious problem, and the beverage industry is doing the right thing by raising awareness and promoting responsibility.”
A community-driven partnership to counter the devastating effects of underage drinking is underway on Chicago South and Southwest Sides called the Be United Multi-Neighborhood Collaborative, which features a number of local and state organizations who have signed on as participants. According to Chicago Police Department Commander David Jarmusz, one example of the partnership is with the Illinois Liquor Control Commission for a Beverage Alcohol Seller/Server Training & Education (BASSET) class.
“We are excited about this collaborative because we know it will help bring awareness and prevention of underage drinking,” said Commander Jarmusz. “That is why we are asking all District 9 liquor establishment owners, managers, and seller/servers to participate in the training class which will further carry out the mission of preventing underage drinking.” The class will take place tomorrow, April, 1, at K & G Banquet Hall, 4235 W. 47th St, Chicago.
For more information about the ILCC underage drinking awareness efforts, please visit www.DontBeSorry.org.
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