RALEIGH, N.C., May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A bill aimed at combating underage drinking passed the North Carolina House of Representatives yesterday and is now headed to the Senate for consideration. HB 1277, introduced by Rep. Ty Harrell (D-41) and backed by Diageo, the world's leading spirits, wine and beer company, punishes adults who knowingly provide alcohol to those under the legal drinking age.
"With prom and graduation season underway, passing this bill takes on even greater significance. We applaud North Carolina for taking this important step in the fight against underage drinking," said Sonya Deen, Senior Director Government Affairs, Diageo North America. "Diageo and its employees strongly endorse a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking."
An industry leader in responsible drinking, Diageo has also led the passage of similar bills 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 nearly 20 states and signed into law in seven.
According to experts, adults are the biggest 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.
"Diageo is proud to lead the industry in working proactively with lawmakers across the country to ensure alcohol is kept out of hands of young people," said Guy Smith, Executive Vice President, Diageo North America.
Diageo (DE-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wine and beer. 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.
Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly. Contact: Zsoka McDonald, Diageo Ph: 203.229.4730 Rachel Rosenblatt, FD Ph: 212.850.5697