CONGRESSWOMAN ROYBAL-ALLARD, SEN. LAUTENBERG, INTRODUCE BILL TO REAUTHORIZE PROGRAMS THAT PREVENT UNDERAGE DRINKING
Apr 15, 2011 -
During Alcohol Awareness Month, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34) introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and bolster federal underage drinking prevention programs under the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act. The legislation builds on the success of the original STOP Act signed into law in 2006, and seeks to reduce and prevent underage drinking in the United States.
Please click here to view Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s floor speech announcing the bill’s introduction
Congresswoman Roybal-Allard was joined by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D, CT-3), and Congressman Frank Wolf (R, VA-10) who co-sponsored this bipartisan legislation. U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D, NJ) introduced the identical companion bill in the U.S. Senate.
“The reauthorization of federal underage drinking prevention programs under the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act is the next logical step in our ongoing efforts to address the public health crisis of underage drinking in our country,” Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard said. “Since the STOP Act became law in 2006, community efforts to address underage drinking have increased. While this is encouraging, the unfortunate fact remains that alcohol is still the primary drug of choice for our youth. We must build on our successful efforts to educate our society about the dangers of youth alcohol abuse in hopes of reducing the suffering, violence and death that far too often are caused by underage drinking.”
“Underage drinking poses a significant threat to public health and safety. One death from underage drinking is too many, yet as many as 5,000 youth die each year as a result of alcohol consumption,” said Senator Lautenberg, who authored the law that changed the legal drinking age to 21. “Since 2006, the STOP Act has helped put the brakes on underage drinking. This reauthorization would continue providing funding for prevention programs that make a real impact in communities across the country. The sad truth is that underage drinking remains widespread, and we must redouble our efforts to address the problem.”
In 2006, the 109th Congress passed the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act authored by Congresswoman Roybal-Allard. The legislation authorized: the establishment of an interagency coordinating committee to address underage drinking; a multimedia campaign to educate parents and communities about the dangers of underage drinking; federal research on underage drinking prevention; and the creation of community grants to fight underage drinking.
“In 2009, about 10.4 million, or 27.2 percent of teens aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Approximately 6.9 million of these were binge drinkers, and 2.1 million were heavy drinkers,” Congresswoman Roybal-Allard said. “The original STOP Act was a bipartisan and bicameral effort to address the public health crisis of underage drinking. We must pass this STOP Act reauthorization to ensure that this landmark public health initiative continues.”
The STOP Act reauthorization (HR 1562) will continue the programs begun with the original STOP Act, and will build upon these public health efforts by:
• Establishing grants to train pediatric health care providers in how best to screen and treat children and teens who have had alcohol exposures.
The bill is supported by MADD, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), American Academy of Pediatrics and the United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society.
For her efforts to combat underage drinking, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard has been honored by leading national organizations dedicated to curbing underage drinking, including MADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, the Century Council, and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.