Deerfield, Ill. – December 3, 2009 – Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. [Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO)], the leading American spirits company and industry leader in the battle against hardcore drunk driving, and the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) today joined forces in support of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month this December. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 36 fatalities occur per day on America’s roadways as a result of crashes involving an alcohol impaired driver. That number increases to 45 per day during the Christmas period and jumps to 54 per day over the New Year’s holiday.
To encourage safe driving this holiday season, Beam Global and NCDC recommend designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk to avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other tips include:
· Calling a taxi or using mass transit to get home safely if you are impaired.
· Using your community’s sober rides program.
· Promptly reporting drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement.
· Wearing your seatbelt or using protective gear on your motorcycle to defend against an impaired driver.
“The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with friends and family, but it’s important to make safety a priority,” said Bill Newlands, president, Beam Global Spirits & Wine U.S. “As the founding partner of NCDC, we know how critical it is to get drunk drivers off the road to keep our communities safe. As you celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year, always have a designated driver if you choose to drink.”
“We are pleased to offer our support and voice to National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month,” stated David Wallace, director of the National Center for DWI Courts. “We hope this month raises awareness of this problem so that people celebrate safely and responsibly. With hardcore drunk drivers 20 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, we understand the importance of dedicating a month to raising awareness and preventing drunk and drugged driving.”
With more than 17,000 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the United States every year, Beam Global and NCDC have partnered since 2007 to bring national attention to the effectiveness of DWI Courts in addressing hardcore drunk driving. Hardcore drunk drivers are drivers with a high blood alcohol concentration of .15 and above and/or are repeat offenders. The innovative DWI Court system goes beyond traditional discipline and deals with hardcore drunk driving offenders by providing long-term, ongoing accountability and rehabilitation, in addition to a conviction. As DWI Courts are launched throughout the country, NCDC provides training and research to the personnel needed to operate them. Currently, there are 506 DWI Courts across the country.