Leading Alcohol Producers Contribute to UN Global Goals of Halving Road Traffic Deaths by 2020

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2016 /CNW/ - The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) today has released The Drink Driving Initiative 2015 Summary Reports, highlighting the progress of the leading global beer, wine and spirits producers' collective commitment on reducing drink driving. This report builds on their long-standing efforts to reduce harmful drinking through the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments. In recognition of the serious effects that the harmful use of alcohol can have, these producers wish to demonstrate their support of international efforts to improve health and social outcomes for individuals, families and communities through their Commitments.

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These reports outline the achievements over the last six years. A series of successful pilot programs were launched aimed at reducing drink driving in China, Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and Vietnam. IARD, as Secretariat to the Commitments, has begun transitioning these into locally funded programs and, in 2015, expanded its efforts with local stakeholders to reduce alcohol-related road traffic crashes in four new countries: Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Namibia, and South Africa. Demonstrating the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships in creating effective programs, these initiatives reflect the results of work undertaken in partnership with local government, police, NGOs, and other stakeholders to ensure both efficiency and longevity.

Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev and Chair of the CEOs said, "We are reporting not only about stronger awareness but also targeted reductions in drink driving in countries where drink driving programs are well established. In the initiatives outlined in this report, IARD and our partners focus on capacity-building and country ownership in order to ensure that these programs are sustainable over time."

The success of these programs reflect the Commitments' goal to reduce drink driving, and contribute to ambitious targets set by the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, to decrease road traffic deaths and injuries by half by 2020. Country program highlights include:

  • In Cambodia, a 23% decrease in drink-driving related crashes during the Water Festival.
  • In China, IARD now operates in 13 cities, and October 2015 marked China's first National Responsible Drinking Day.
  • In Namibia, establishing a DUI program to raise awareness, culminating in the revision of the law to allow for breath testing in December 2015.
  • In South Africa, the Young Free Education (YFE) program at Rhodes University launched the first Students' Rights and Responsibilities Charter in October 2015.

 

Working to change behaviors, IARD and its member companies understand that awareness alone may be insufficient and therefore support an evidence-based approach to preventing drink driving that includes establishing a maximum BAC limit, strengthening enforcement, implementing graduated licensing and zero tolerance policies, and supporting counselling, license suspension, and interlock devices.

The UN General Assembly has proclaimed the period 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, with a goal to stabilize and reduce the forecast level of road traffic crash fatalities around the world.

"UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 has set a very ambitious target," explains Ann Keeling, CEO of IARD. "The drink driving programs that form part of the Producers' Commitments are examples of how the beverage alcohol industry is tackling this specific health challenge. The achievement of the SDGs will require multi-stakeholder partnerships with civil society, academia, and the private sector supporting governments to reduce death and disability through better road safety."

For more information, and to read the full report, please visit:  http://www.producerscommitments.org/

About the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) 

IARD is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to addressing the global public health issue of harmful drinking and promoting responsible drinking. IARD supports implementation of the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol and the constructive role Member States have identified for producers including the global target set by the world's governments of "at least 10% relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol" by 2025.  

The 12 signatories of the Commitments are:  Anheuser-Busch InBev; Asahi Group Holdings; Bacardi; Beam Suntory; Brown-Forman Corporation; Carlsberg; Diageo; Heineken; Kirin Holdings Company; Molson Coors; Pernod Ricard; and SABMiller.  

SOURCE International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)

For further information: media@iard.org, +1-202-556-6970 (Washington, D.C.), +32-471-611-373 (Brussels, Belgium)


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