Chicago, Sept 7 – As a founding member of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), Beam Suntory today underscored significant progress towards the Beer, Wine & Spirits Producers’ Commitments to reduce alcohol misuse. Earlier today, IARD released its fourth annual, independently audited report.
On a global basis, IARD programs reached more than 100 million people in 2016 with educational messages combatting underage drinking, established campaigns to prevent drunk driving in 80% of markets where member companies are commercially active, and demonstrated that alcohol producers are effective partners in tackling alcohol misuse.
“As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory’s commitment to responsible consumption is fundamental to everything we do,” said Beam Suntory Chairman and CEO Matt Shattock. “We are proud of our global efforts to reduce alcohol misuse, we will continue supporting evidence-based programs that target the biggest problems, and we will continue to pursue approaches that engage multiple stakeholders so that we can most effectively achieve the goals that we share to reduce harmful drinking.”
DWI Courts Continue to Expand
Beam Suntory is a founding sponsor of the National Center for DWI Courts, a non-profit organization leading the expansion of DWI courts in the United States. Beam Suntory helps the group provide training and technical assistance to new and operational DWI courts, disseminate research and best practices and advocate for evidence-based interventions for impaired driving.
In 2016 alone, NCDC trained 80 courts, adding more than 500 practitioners trained in 21 states on evidence-based best practices to reduce recidivism in the most dangerous repeat DWI offenders. Since NCDC’s founding in 2007, DWI courts have expanded more than 52 percent to include more than 700 courts in 44 states.
Repeat offenders are responsible for the vast majority of fatal crashes on American roadways. DWI courts hold these offenders strictly accountable, with close supervision and connections to treatment services for underlying alcohol use or mental health disorders. DWI courts reduce recidivism by as much as 60 percent and DWI offenders who complete the program are as much as 19 times less likely to reoffend compared to offenders in the traditional system.
“As a result of Beam Suntory’s longstanding commitment to combatting the deadly effects of impaired driving, the DWI court model has seen explosive growth in the United States,” said Carson Fox, CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the parent organization to NCDC. “Our continued partnership has given us the resources to aggressively expand the DWI court model and connect more Americans with alcohol disorders to treatment, allowing them to become productive citizens and make our roads safer.”
DrinkWise Making Progress in Australia
Beam Suntory, industry peers and the Australian government support DrinkWise Australia, an independent, not-for-profit social aspects organization.
In 2016, DrinkWise forged an alliance with Uber, which coincided with the release of Uber data highlighting that access to safe and reliable rides has helped hundreds of thousands of people in Sydney make smarter choices when heading home after a night out. A recent study showed that drunk driving deaths are as much as 5.6% lower in cities where Uber and other ride sharing firms operate.
Drinkaware Gaining Awareness in the UK
Beam Suntory also partners with Drinkaware to change alcohol consumption patterns in the UK through education programs aimed at reducing alcohol-related harm, helping people make better choices and preventing underage consumption.
Drinkaware has received more than 5 million unique visitors on its website in 2017 to date, with more than 207,000 using its the DrinkCompare Calculator, and a further 70,000 app downloads.
Minors Not a Single Drop Reaching Youth in Spain
Relaunched in 2016 in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the “Minors not a Single Drop” campaign is working to raise awareness about the risks of underage drinking, delay the onset of alcohol consumption, and help parents set clear rules against underage drinking.
Last year, “Minors Not a Single Drop” engaged 974,000 people through Town Halls, including 16,000 minors.
Beam Suntory Enhances Drink Smart Program
These and other programs complement Beam Suntory’s proprietary Drink Smart program that promotes responsible choices about alcohol. In 2016, Beam Suntory re-launched its DrinkSmart.com website, available in seven languages, providing tools to help consumers make smart choices. Later this year, DrinkSmart.com will be enhanced to include alcohol content and nutrition information for Beam Suntory products.