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  ILCC Industry Education Division



Summit of state, college, and local officials addresses college-age drinking issues

DATE: September 22, 2009
CONTACT: Ted Penesis (

SPRINGFIELD—Approximately 125 government, university, law enforcement, and local municipal officials from throughout the State of Illinois gathered today in the Governor’s Mansion to attend College Town Summit ’09: Controlling College-Age Alcohol Use.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) served as host for this inaugural summit. “There was progress at today’s meeting. By agreeing that all of us thrive when we meet our responsibilities to keep our kids safe, we can move on to ways to accomplish that goal,” says ILCC Commissioner Stephen Schnorf. “We rolled up our sleeves and talked frankly about how to work together to reduce underage drinking and over-consumption of alcohol for this at-risk age group.”

Reducing illegal college-age alcohol use has been a priority for the Liquor Commission, thanks to the leadership of Commissioner Schnorf and his fellow commissioner, ILCC Chairman Irving J. Koppel. “Over-consumption and underage drinking are a deadly combination,” says Chairman Koppel. “A recent national study showed that college students are the most at risk to die of alcohol poisoning. In fact, the number of college students who drank themselves to death nearly doubled over the seven-year span of the study. Even more tragic, more than half of those who died were under the legal drinking age of 21.”

In attendance to provide opening remarks at the summit were Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Commander Luis Tigera (who will serve as second-in-command at the Illinois State Police), and Director Michael Stout of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety. Others speaking at the summit included mayors, university administrators, college students, liquor industry executives, and law enforcement personnel at all levels of government (click here for the summit agenda and speaker bios).

The meeting’s format was designed to encourage a lively exchange of ideas. Interactive panel discussions featured local and state officials sharing their experiences, which created a dialogue for attendees to delve further into issues that directly affected their community’s safety and college learning environment.

“To get control over the deadly problem of underage drinking, the summit brought all of the stakeholders together to find ways to meet their responsibilities that make sense for the communities and the businesses dependent on college populations,” says Lainie Krozel, Executive Director of the ILCC. “We are looking for compliance, not violations.”

It is hoped that the College Town Summit will become a yearly event at the start of each new school year. In fact, planning is already underway for College Town Summit ‘10: Preventing College-Age Alcohol Abuse. To learn more about college-age drinking—and to order materials—please visit the ILCC’s website.

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