SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diageo, the world's leading spirits, wine and beer company, announced its support of California legislation aimed at combating underage drinking. The bill, AB 1658, increases penalties for adults who provide alcohol to those under the legal drinking age. Following a hearing yesterday, in which Diageo testified, it passed out of the Assembly's Committee on Governmental Organization.
AB 1658 increases the legal consequences associated with providing alcohol to a minor, moving the punishment from community service to imprisonment. Diageo calls publicly for all alcohol policy organizations, especially The Marin Institute and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, to join it in supporting this important piece of legislation that directly addresses an important social objective. The bill also increases the existing fines these individuals incur.
"Diageo applauds Assemblywoman Sharon Runner and the California Assembly's Committee on Governmental Organization for taking this important step against underage drinking," said Amy Elliott, Senior Director Government Affairs, Diageo North America. "Diageo strongly endorses zero tolerance when it comes to this important issue. We are proud to support the state of California with this important legislation to keep alcohol out of the hands of young people."
An industry leader in its commitment to promoting responsible drinking, Diageo has led the passage of similar legislation in other states to fight underage drinking by suspending the driver's license of adults who knowingly furnish alcohol to those under 21. Bills have been introduced in more than 20 states.
Research shows that adults are by far the main source of alcohol for underage drinkers. The Century Council, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, found that 65% of underage drinkers get their alcohol from family and adult friends. A report to Congress by the National Academy of Sciences identified friends and adult purchasers as the most frequent sources of alcohol among college students and older adolescents. Family members were cited as the most frequent source for younger adolescents.
"It is important for us to consider what real solutions are out there to eliminate underage drinking and AB 1658 is a step in the right direction," Elliott said. "Diageo is grateful to have the opportunity to lead the industry by proactively working with lawmakers here in California and across the country to combat underage drinking."
The Assembly Committee on Public Safety will now review AB 1658.
Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.
Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com/.
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