April 17, 2015
In an effort to keep our communities safe, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is encouraging those who consume alcohol to do it responsibly. April is Alcohol Responsibility Awareness Month. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is asking everyone to learn more about the importance of alcohol responsibility. This month is also a good time to remind Arkansans about the dangers of drinking and driving.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the number of drunk driving fatalities in Arkansas has dropped 27 percent since 2009, but alcohol is still a factor in more than a quarter of all traffic deaths across the State.
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility notes that car crashes are one of the leading causes of death among teens, and in 2013, 29 percent of young adults killed in crashes had a blood alcohol level of .01 or higher. Also in 2013, Arkansas had more than 120 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, with 16 of those involving impaired drivers under the age of 21. More than 7,800 Arkansans were arrested that same year for driving under the influence.
Attorney General Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving and the importance of responsible alcohol consumption for those who decide to drink.
“For many years we have been hearing about the dangers of drinking and driving, but the problem persists,” said Rutledge. “Long-term alcohol consumption can decrease brain function and alertness. This is why it is imperative to educate Arkansans of all ages about alcohol responsibility.”
Responsibility.org advises parents to begin talking with their children about alcohol consumption when they are old enough to ask questions about what their parents are drinking or ask to taste. The conversation should continue through college to make sure teens and young adults know the health and safety risks of over consumption and impaired driving.
The Attorney General offered the following tips to consumers who make the choice to consume alcohol away from their home:
- Designate a non-drinking driver before the event starts.
- Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Take their keys away.
- If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
- If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver, offer alcohol-free beverages and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
The solution to this problem does not just rest in the hands of law enforcement. Individuals must make the conscious decision to not drink and drive.
For more information about alcohol responsibility, visit responsibility.org.
For consumer-related questions, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division (800) 482-8982.