News Release

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2000
CONTACT: Karen L. Faltin
Industry Education Manager
Office: (312) 814-4802

Underage Drinking Awareness Program
Targets College Campuses

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) has introduced a comprehensive underage drinking awareness program on 22 college campuses throughout Illinois this fall. The "Get the Picture. Underage Drinking is Illegal, Dangerous and Stupid" campaign will take a two-pronged approach to raising awareness: a public awareness campaign that targets underage college students, particularly college freshmen and a campaign to provide Illinois liquor retailers with educational materials and signage that sends a strong message to minors that under 21 alcohol sales will not be tolerated on their premises.

The initiative was developed as a joint effort between the ILCC and the Office of the Governor. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, underage drinking laws have saved 19,121 lives since 1975.

"Underage drinking is a serious public health concern in the United States," said Governor Ryan. "Illinois schools are working hard to provide information, modify behavior through social campaigns and strengthen alcohol policies. We want to provide them with materials that supplement their efforts and make their existing programs stronger."

The campaign features three posters, a seven-minute video, and an information packet that includes a penalty sheet with information for minors on the legal consequences for underage drinking-related offenses, a fact sheet and a pamphlet on alcohol poisoning. Also included in this packet is a handout titled "The Top Ten Reasons Not to Drink Under 21" provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD-Illinois) and a coupon for a free President's Choice soda from Jewel/Osco. Jewel also will feature the campaign's logo on the back of all Jewel store receipts for a 12-week period. These receipts reach over 4 million customers per week in Illinois.

The "Get the Picture" campaign has received wide support from leaders in the fields of education, prevention and all three tiers of the alcohol beverage industry:
manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Acting ILCC Executive Director, Mark Bishop called sellers and servers of alcoholic beverages the first line of defense in preventing underage sales. "The alcohol industry, as a whole, supports this program which helps them to send a strong message to minors," said Bishop. "The fact is that if you are not 21, you are not legal to drink and they don't want your business."

In addition to the materials that have been sent to the 22 campuses, the ILCC is distributing signs to retailers that clearly define the policy on not serving to minors, informational bulletins that address penalties for selling/serving to minors, and information which promotes the benefits of seller/server training.

The campaign is funded through the Dram Shop fund, which derives its revenues from the issuance of liquor licenses. Additionally, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provided the Illinois Liquor Control Commission with approximately $34,000 to be distributed over two years to increase awareness among the state's 22,000 liquor retailers.

The ILCC's alcohol awareness program will be an ongoing initiative. Eventually, the ILCC would like to make this program available to all university and college campuses throughout the state. For further information regarding the Under 21 program call Linda Carey at 312/814-0705.

Listed below are the twenty-two campuses participating in the "Get the Picture" campaign.

"Get the Picture. Underage Drinking is Illegal, Dangerous, and Stupid" Participating Colleges