Over the past 20 years, The Century Council has become a leading force in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking. Funded by distillers — Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Pernod Ricard USA; and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. — and working in collaboration with multiple partners nationwide The Century Council has developed and implemented innovative approaches to dealing with these critical issues.
In part and due to The Century Council's work, notable progress has been made. During the past two decades, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities have decreased 32 percent to a record low of 10,839. During this same time, current underage alcohol consumption decreased 33 percent to a historic low 27 percent since the inception of The Century Council. The following retrospective provides a snapshot of our contributions since our inception in 1991.
As we reflect on our accomplishments during the past 20 years, we realize that more can be done to improve the safety and health of our communities. We look forward to continued progress in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking!
The Century Council's commitment to assist retailers has been demonstrated by the development and distribution of various initiatives especially designed to deter young people from attempting to purchase beverage alcohol.
Early on, the “Front Lines” program offered retailers a broad selection of fully tested eye catching materials to let youth know, loud and clear, that if they were looking to buy alcohol they were in the wrong place. Throughout the years multiple campaigns have been developed to reinforce this message.
The “Excuses” campaign — a collection of actual excuses used by “wannabe” buyers was launched in 1997. A national survey of 292 retailers found that 92% were displaying these materials. Over 96% rated the materials “very effective” or “somewhat effective” in deterring underage attempts to purchase, and about two-thirds (65%) found the materials made it easier to refuse to sell alcohol to underage youth. Over 6 million pieces of point-of-sale materials have been distributed to over 100,000 retailers nationwide.