E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: USA: Miller Brewing Company unveils innovative program to prevent underage access to alcohol

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E-Malt.com News article: USA: Miller Brewing Company unveils innovative program to prevent underage access to alcohol
Brewery news

A first-of-its-kind event took place on September 14 in Waukesha, Wis. Miller Brewing Company and the Responsible Retailing Forum, in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher and W.O.W. Distributing, kicked off the first-ever Respect 21 Responsible Retailing Program to help prevent underage access to alcohol. The event took place in The Rotunda in Waukesha and was attended by leading local retailers.

During the half-day event, retailers learned about best practices in responsible retailing, shared their experience and ideas on preventing underage access, and contributed to shaping future forums on the topic. Hosted by Miller and W.O.W. Distributing, the discussion was led by nationally recognized prevention experts from Brandeis University and its Responsible Retailing Forum, a national organization of public and private stakeholders in youth access prevention. The program is a pilot using a proven retailer model and scientific evaluation to support and strengthen existing Waukesha retailing practices. The program will continue over the next several months utilizing primary research among retailers and tools to help them adopt best practice protocols for verifying age and refusing sales to underage customers. If successful, the pilot may be expanded to communities nationwide.

"It takes a team effort to prevent youth access to alcohol -- parents, retailers, manufacturers and communities. We are proud to be able to play our role as a brewer but also as a corporate citizen with the ability to bring all the parties together to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors," said Kristin Kaplan Wolfe, Miller Brewing alcohol responsibility initiatives director. "We are encouraged by the enthusiastic response we have received from Waukesha and look forward to expanding this pilot program."

"Sales to underage youth have no value to us," said Don Peiffer, store manager at Sentry Store in Menomonee Falls, Wis. "Prevention is a top concern not only at our outlets throughout Waukesha County but everywhere we do business. We welcome this support from Miller and W.O.W. Distributing."

FTC Senior Attorney Janet Evans unveiled a new community awareness program, for use at retail, developed in partnership with Miller. The program will address the social sources of underage alcohol consumption and offer innovative prevention tools. It is intended to support parents and concerned adults who are making the right choices, and encourage others to change their behavior toward kids and alcohol. Evans also shared the FTC's plans for a new online resource center that will provide concerned citizens and corporations with tools to help prevent underage access.

"This program answers an established need and a direct request from Congress to fight underage consumption," said Evans. "We believe our main message is simple yet effective. 'America's parents support the 21 year old drinking age. Support America's Parents.' We are pleased that Miller Brewing Company is showing its support for America's parents by promoting this effort."

Miller's Respect 21 program is designed to help prevent underage access and promote responsible decision-making with parents and teens. Specifically, Let's Keep Talking helps parents open a dialogue about alcohol with their children and then continue that important prevention conversation with their teens. Miller recently commissioned a new survey, conducted by Kelton Research, which explored parents' role in teen drinking issues. Other underage drinking prevention efforts include: WE ID signage with the message of "21. It's the Law. Thank you for not providing alcohol to anyone under 21." and the annual Driver License Booklet with tips for retailers on checking the validity of IDs. Miller also partners with its network of distributors to provide retailers with nationally recognized server training programs such as Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPSŪ) and Certified Alcohol Sales Training (CASTŪ) in an effort to prevent underage access in local communities. For further information Miller Brewing Company's responsibility efforts, please visit www.MillerBrewing.com

16 September, 2005

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