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Diageo Applauds Passage of North Carolina Legislation to Reduce Underage Drinking

RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Legislation aimed at preventing underage drinking passed the North Carolina legislature recently. The bill, 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.

"Diageo applauds Rep. Harrell and North Carolina's Legislature for passing HB 1277 and we encourage Governor Easley to sign the bill into law," said Barry Becton, Senior Director Government Affairs, Diageo North America. "Diageo and its employees strongly endorse zero tolerance when it comes to underage drinking. We are proud to support the state of North Carolina with this important legislation to keep alcohol out of the hands of those under the legal drinking age."

An industry leader in promoting 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 those under 21. Bills have been introduced more than 20 states.

According to authorities, adults are by far the main source of alcohol for underage drinkers. The Century Council, a not-for-profit educational 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 committed to keeping alcohol away from kids -- period," said Becton. "We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with lawmakers in North Carolina and across the country to combat underage drinking."

About Diageo

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/.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.

Source: Diageo

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