Montgomery Co., MD: County Alcohol Services Launch Campaign to Curb Underage Drinking
Montgomery Community Media
By Suzanne Pollak
September 13, 2023
Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) announced a new ad campaign designed to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking.
Public service advertisements can be found on bus shelters and bus taillights. The idea is to deter under-21 alcohol use and reduce adolescent access to alcohol.
The bus shelter ads are near high schools and feature the phrase “under 21 drinking can lead to alcohol addiction.”
Ride On bus taillight ads will be placed on upper county routes and feature the phrase “60% of kids who drink get their alcohol from family and friends.”
The ads will run for six weeks and include a QR code that can be scanned for suggestions on how best to reduce under-21 alcohol use and access to alcohol as well as other prevention resources.
“As a community we recognize that we have a responsibility to deter and reduce underage alcohol use,” said County Executive Marc Elrich.
“Our actions as parents and caregivers can influence our children’s decision to experiment with alcohol. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, children are more likely to avoid substance use when they have a strong, trusting relationship with their parents or caregivers. So, I’m glad that ABS is taking this step to remind us to speak to our children early and often about the dangers of underage alcohol consumption,” Elrich said in a statement.
“Alcohol is the most commonly misused substance among young people in the United States,” said ABS Director Kathie Durbin. “Under-21 alcohol use contributes to risky behavior, lower academic achievement, altered brain development and the likelihood of future substance abuse. Parents, teachers and community members play a key role in deterring under-21 alcohol use and access.”
ABS developed the advertising campaign using a funding award from the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. The ads are a part of the “Keeping It Safe” (KIS) public education campaign.
KIS holds an annual video contest. Middle and high school students can enter their 30-second public service message on such topics as fighting peer pressure, supporting friends who abuse alcohol or how drinking affects mental health.
Videos must be submitted by March 31.
ABS is the alcohol wholesaler of beer, wine and spirits for the county and operates 27 retail stores.