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Diageo Applauds Michigan Legislature for Working to Strengthen Laws to Combat Underage Drinking

HB 5198 Seeks to Target the Source of Alcohol to Kids by Punishing Adult Providers

LANSING, Mich., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As a leader in social responsibility and the fight against underage drinking, Diageo, the world's leading, spirits, wine and beer company, applauds Representative Harold L. Haugh (D - District 42) for introducing HB 5198 to the Michigan House of Representatives. HB 5198 aims to address underage drinking by revoking the driver's license of any adult who knowingly furnishes alcohol to a person under the legal drinking age.

"We applaud Representative Haugh and his colleagues for recognizing that underage drinking is a serious problem that needs real attention in Michigan," said Joshua Sanders, Senior Director of State Government Relations for Diageo North America.

Research shows that adults are consistently listed as the top source of alcohol to kids. Research by The Century Council, a national non-profit organization dedicated to fighting underage drinking and drunk driving, shows that 65% of minors get their alcohol from adult family and friends. Additionally, a recent national survey from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that nearly 70% of minors who drink do not purchase alcohol themselves.

"Diageo has a zero tolerance policy towards underage drinking and we believe that this legislation targeting adults, who are the number one source of alcohol to kids, will help Michigan make significant progress in this area. We hope that the Michigan Legislature will pass this important bill," said Sanders.

Under the proposed legislation, adults caught selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor are guilty of a misdemeanor and can have their license revoked for up to 180 days. Additionally, they also face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 60 days in prison for the first offense. Any subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 90 days in prison.

The University of Michigan's annual Monitoring the Future survey on underage drinking shows that teen drinking nationwide has declined considerably since reaching peak use in the mid-1990s and that underage drinking is at its lowest level since 1975. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, however, reported that from 2002 to 2006, alcohol use by children ages 12 - 20 in Michigan remained above the national average.

Diageo has a strong record of supporting 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 For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit

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