Global Be(er) Responsible Day

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Today, Anheuser-Busch InBev is promoting a new holiday focusing on safe and responsible drinking behavior and especially using designated drivers. They’re calling the effort “Global Be(er) Responsible Day.” From the press release:

More than 1,500 Anheuser-Busch employees across the United States won’t be at their desks on Friday, Sept. 23. Instead, they’ll be out visiting bars, restaurants and grocery stores to promote the use of designated drivers.

It’s all part of Global Be(er) Responsible Day, an annual effort organized by Anheuser-Busch and its sister companies around the world.

“For three decades, Budweiser has been leading the way in the promotion of designated drivers,” said Kathy Casso, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Anheuser-Busch. “Our programming to encourage responsible drinking takes place all year long, but on Global Be(er) Responsible Day our employees are making an extra push to spread the message in partnership with wholesalers, retailers and many other partners.”

TAKE THE PLEDGE

Casso and Finger encourage adults to show their friends they care by visiting Budweiser’s Facebook page, clicking on the “Bud DD” tab and pledging their support of designated drivers. Where legal, consumers who take the pledge may be eligible to win a prize from Budweiser.

“The vast majority of adults enjoy our beers responsibly and we have made progress in reducing drunk driving,” Casso said. “So let’s all work together so we can keep moving in the right direction. By visiting Budweiser’s Facebook page and signing up to be a designated driver, you can show you support the important role that designated drivers play in enjoying the great times.”

DESIGNATED DRIVER FACTS

In conjunction with Global Be(er) Responsible Day, new research from GfK Custom Research North America was released showing promising news in the area of designated driver use and awareness, including that 64% of American adults — or 141 million people 21+ — have been a designated driver or have been driven home by one.

The 2011 Designated Driver poll also showed that 86 percent of respondents think that promoting the use of designated drivers is an excellent or good way to help reduce drunk driving. The full survey results are available at alcoholstats.com.

LIFE-SAVING RESEARCH

On Thursday Anheuser-Busch will host in St. Louis a meeting of a working group of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, an independent group of law enforcement experts, at its corporate headquarters. The group recently released a report, Effective Strategies to Reduce Drunk Driving, and will be in St. Louis to continue their research as they search for proven strategies to reduce drunk driving on American roadways.

A lot of progress has been achieved in reducing drunk driving, according to the group’s 2010 report, but experts agree there’s still more work to be done.

TIRF’s ground-breaking research on the nation’s DWI system has been supported by Anheuser-Busch for more than 20 years.

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Now sure it’s P.R. designed to show ABI in a positive light, but that doesn’t make it automatically bad. It’s still a good effort and deserves to be acknowledged. In fact, ABI is composed of people who do care is people die driving drunk. ABI is comprised of fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, aunt, uncles, etc.; people like you and me. I may not always agree with ABI’s business practices or like a lot of their products, but I’ve known many good people, past and present, who work for A-B, and now ABI. They’re not the monsters that Alcohol Justice (nee the Marin Institute, before they re-branded themselves the new moral sheriff in town) and the other anti-alcohol groups make them out to be.

But you can hear the deafening silence of Alcohol Justice, and the others, applauding ABI’s effort. You’d think the self-styled alcohol “industry watchdog” would be able to praise, as well as criticize. You’d think that’s what an observer would, and should, be able to do. But naturally, their website is completely silent, preferring to communicate only what alcohol companies do wrong, which is everything. I’m convinced they can’t even conceive of ever portraying any alcohol company being praiseworthy for anything. As long as I’ve been watching the watchdogs, they’ve never once said anything positive about any alcohol company.

But the message of driving responsibly and using designated drivers is a good one, and efforts to raise awareness of the issue should be applauded, regardless of where they come from. So I, for one, say good job ABI, for promoting Global Be(er) Responsible Day.

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