Spotlight: What’s Happening

The Alcohol Policy Information System

(APIS) web site added a new topic to its Selected Policy Topics

section: “Criminal Liability for Hosting Underage Drinking

Parties.” The new section discusses legislation that holds

individuals (social hosts) criminally responsible for underage drinking

on property they own, lease, or otherwise control. Click on

to connect to this new section.

The Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP) of the Robert

Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) issued a report titled “Assessing

State Readiness to Act on Alcohol Tax Research Findings.”

The report includes public health findings on alcohol taxes as well

as information on the size of State budget deficits, political strength

of public health advocates and the alcohol industry, proportions

of drinkers and nondrinkers in each State, existing alcohol-related

policies, cultural and religious factors, and the burden of alcohol-related

health and crime on State budgets in relation to alcohol tax revenue.

The document is available at

The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) issued a new report

titled Underage Drinking in the United States: A Status Report,

2004. The purpose of the report is to prompt action on underage

drinking by putting a spotlight on whether the Nation is making

progress in protecting our children by reducing underage drinking.

It is based on epidemiological data and on research on underage

drinking released in 2004. The full report and the news release

can be found at

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) established

the Youth Access to Alcohol Task Force to address the problem of

underage drinking. The task force studies youth exposure to alcohol

advertising and access to alcohol, educates state attorneys general

on ways to reduce access to alcohol by youth and change social norms

about underage drinking, and partners with National and State entities

to augment and enhance ongoing efforts to stop underage drinking.

The Task Force’s full mission and membership is available

on the NAAG web page at

The Senate Appropriations Committee for the Departments of Labor,

Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies

recently released a report that commended the Department of Health

and Human Services Secretary for establishing the Interagency Coordinating

Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD). The

committee report also stated it was disappointed that ICCPUD’s

Interim Report did not include plans for a Surgeon’s General’s “Call

to Action” on the prevention of underage drinking. The committee

strongly appealed for the Surgeon General to issue a “Call

to Action” on the health crisis of underage drinking. The

Development of a Plan for Combating Underage Drinking was released

in April 2004.

After ICCPUD’s report, The Development of a Plan or Combating Underage

Drinking, was submitted, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Services Administration (SAMHSA),

on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, promised

to present

Congress with a “plan for combating underage drinking, including project

costs and next steps to be taken.” That Interim

Report was made available to Congress in January 2005.

To view The National Alliance to Prevent Underage Drinking’s response

to the Interim Report, please

click here.

On February 16, 2005, “The STOP (Sober Truth on Preventing)

Underage Drinking Act” was introduced in Congress. The act

would fund key educational and research initiatives, including

a national media campaign to reduce the prevalence of underage

drinking. Rep. Lucille Royball-Allard (CA) introduced H.R. 864

in the House of Representatives. An identical bill (S. 408) was

introduced by Sen. Mike DeWine (OH) in the Senate. The text of

the act is available at Type the bill number

to see the text.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) produced a

new resource—the Factbook on State Beer Taxes—aimed

at informing the debate on alcohol taxes and other alcohol policy

issues. Targeted toward preventionists, policymakers, educators,

and journalists, the book provides data on beer-tax rates across

the country and presents ideas about the appropriate role of the

alcohol industry in societal attempts to combat alcohol problems.

CSPI’s website is




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