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Diageo Backs Initiative to Combat Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking Presented to Congress in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, July 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diageo (NYSE: DEO), the world's leading spirits, wine and beer company, is proud to support Brandon Silveria in his latest efforts to combat drunk driving and underage drinking. Silveria, who survived a drunk driving crash when he was a teen, will speak alongside his father, Tony, to Members of Congress, Congressional staff, interns and pages to raise awareness of the dangers of drunk driving and underage drinking.

Brandon and Tony will also be honored with a special Congressional Tribute for their work traveling around the country talking to students about his experience. Brandon travels under the auspices of The Century Council, a non-profit organization funded by some of the nation's leading distillers. The speech will take place on Thursday, July 16, at 3:30 PM at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC.

"Diageo is proud to sponsor Brandon and we hope that his message will inspire current leaders, and the leaders of tomorrow, while encouraging them to become more active and involved in the fight against underage drinking," said Michael Bertman, Vice President, Federal Government Relations, Diageo North America. "We would like to offer a special congratulations to Brandon and his father Tony for receiving the special Congressional Tribute for all of their work educating people on how to make legal, smart and safe decisions when it comes to alcohol. Always emphasizing that for anyone under 21, the only choice is to say no."

Brandon Silveria was 17 when he endured a three-week coma resulting from a drunk driving crash. Since his rehabilitation, Silveria has devoted himself to speaking about his experience and encouraging people under the legal drinking age to make the right decisions about alcohol. Although his speech has been permanently impaired, Silveria's presentation delivers a resounding message on the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving and has captivated audiences across the country.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities (fatalities in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater) declined by 9.7 percent in 2008.

The NHTSA also found that there was a 9.7 percent decline in the number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, from 41,259 in 2007 to 37,261 in 2008. This decline of 3,998 fatalities is the largest annual reduction in terms of both number and percentage since 1982. Passenger car occupant fatalities declined for the sixth consecutive year, and are at their lowest level since NHTSA began collecting fatality crash data in 1975. See the following link for more information: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811172.pdf.

Diageo is a founding member and major supporter of The Century Council, an organization committed to developing programs to combat drunk driving and underage drinking. These programs include "Ask, Listen, Learn," "Cops in Shops" and "Girl Talk." The Century Council also works with a broad array of education and prevention professionals on alcohol issues.

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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