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    S.T.O.P. in the Name of Underage Drinking

    Brewers and distributors support legislation for underage drinking programs.

    WASHINGTON -- Beer manufacturers and distributors joined in support of the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP), a revised bill that fights illegal underage drinking and puts a focus on the role of state regulations for distribution and prevention.

    The STOP Act was originally introduced to the House and Senate in 2004. The newly-revised bill, which has been introduced to Congress, allows funding to the Ad Council's national adult-oriented public service campaign, as well as the development and enhancement of the efforts made by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking.

    The revised bill also enables the secretary of health and human services to give an annual report to Congress on the federal and state programs dealing with the prevention of underage drinking. Health and human services will focus on the states' role in law enforcement to prevent minors from obtaining alcohol from commercial, non-commercial and social sources -- including parents, older siblings and other adults.

    "We recognize the importance of fighting illegal underage drinking at the state and community level and are happy to now have a bill that effectively assists in this effort," said August A. Busch IV, chairman of the Beer Institute.

    "Fighting illegal underage drinking is critically important to brewers both as business leaders and as parents. We applaud the efforts of the bill sponsors and our industry allies that resulted in this agreement," noted Beer Institute president Jeff Becker. "The revised House bill more effectively addresses illegal underage drinking issues and reinforces the constitutional authority of each state to license and oversee all three tiers of our industry -- brewers, wholesalers, and retailers."

    Additional industry groups that contributed to this effort include the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Brewers Association, the Wine Institute, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

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