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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2007
Washington Attorney General Takes Aim at Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking in Radio Campaign

Spots encourage use of designated drivers and open dialogue between parents and teens

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today launched a campaign aimed at preventing drunk driving and underage drinking with new 30-second radio public service announcements set to air on stations throughout the state. The spots are timed to coincide with the back-to-school season and will air more than 1,600 times between now and October.

“The fact is, drunk-driving crashes are 100 percent preventable,” McKenna says.  “This initiative reminds adults that we all play a part in preventing drunk driving, and that one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is by designating a driver.  By doing so, Washingtonians are joining the millions of adults nationwide who have been or have used a designated driver.”

The good news is that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that drunk-driving fatalities have declined 36 percent since 1982.  Statewide, drunk-driving fatalities dropped 46 percent during the same time period.

McKenna also takes aim at underage drinking with two radio spots that remind parents about the importance of talking with their teenage and college-age children about underage and abusive drinking and, for parents with teens still at home, refusing to host underage parties with alcohol.  According to a report from the National Academy of Sciences, two-thirds of teens who drink say they get alcohol from their parents or other adults.  Further, the GfK Roper Youth ReportSM, a survey of teens conducted for more than a decade, reveals the majority of teens (69 percent), ages 13 to 17, have consistently cited their parents as the No. 1 influence on their decisions to drink or not.

“With school back in session, now is the perfect time for parents to talk with their teens about drinking,” explains McKenna.  “Parents have a tremendous influence on their teens’ decisions about whether or not to drink.  By communicating openly and honestly, setting a good example, and not providing alcohol for their teens or their teens’ friends, parents play a critical role in ensuring their children make smart, safe choices.”

Recent government studies show that underage drinking continues to decline.  According to the federal government’s 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 83 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds do not drink.  In Washington, the number is slightly higher at 84 percent.  Likewise, teen drunk-driving fatalities are down 67 percent nationwide and 63 percent statewide since 1982, according to the DOT.

The three radio spots, which are available for download at http://www.atg.wa.gov/News/default.aspx, will rotate in paid airings on radio stations across Washington throughout September and October.

GfK Roper Youth Report is a trademark of GfK Custom Research North America.

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Media Contact:  J. Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager, (360) 753-2727

Public Service Announcements

College Students

Designated Drivers

Prevent Underage Drinking


 

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