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Diageo Applauds Maryland Governor for Strengthening Laws to Combat Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking

ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diageo (NYSE: DEO), the world's leading spirits, wine and beer company and industry leader in promoting responsible drinking, applauds Governor Martin O'Malley for signing into law recommendations made by the Task Force to Combat Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol that strengthen Maryland's underage drinking laws, including making it a criminal offense for any adult to purchase, attempt to purchase, or otherwise obtain alcohol for someone the adult knows is younger than 21 years of age.

"The state of Maryland is making significant progress in the fight against underage drinking and we applaud Governor O'Malley for his efforts," said Dwayne Kratt, Senior Director of State Government Relations, Diageo North America. "Adults are the leading provider of alcohol to people under the age of 21. By strengthening the laws in Maryland and increasing the penalties for adults who provide alcohol to kids, we can effectively fight underage drinking."

The Task Force to Combat Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol was officially established in 2007 to review Maryland's efforts to combat drunk driving and compare them with nationally recognized best practices. The group used its findings to recommend several legislative initiatives aimed at all impaired drivers, with a focus on those responsible for the most fatalities: repeat offenders, underage drinkers, and drivers with blood alcohol levels of .15% or higher. The Task Force also considered how to implement national best practices in Maryland; ways to keep the public focused on the dangers of drunk and drugged driving; and strategies to better coordinate State and local management, funding, and resources.

The Task Force was comprised of representatives from the Maryland Department of Transportation and representatives and advocates from the judiciary, law enforcement, insurance, and hospitality and beverage industries.

Diageo has a strong record of supporting myriad local and federal initiatives aimed at preventing underage drinking. Since 2003, Diageo has helped introduce legislation that would revoke the driver's license of any adult who knowingly furnishes alcohol to a person under the legal drinking age in more than 20 states. Diageo supports driver's license revocation legislation as part of its leadership in promoting responsible drinking and the company's commitment to preventing underage access to alcohol. Additionally, Diageo is a leading supporter of the "We Don't Serve Teens" campaign, which builds awareness of and seeks to curb underage drinking by reminding adults that providing alcohol to teens is illegal and irresponsible.

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 Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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SOURCE Diageo

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