Beer Institute Encourages Responsible Drinking During Independence Day Celebrations


WASHINGTON, DC – With Independence Day celebrations around the corner and summer season in full swing, the Beer Institute today released tips on responsible consumption and information on the many free programs available to consumers to promote safe rides home, responsibility and to help parents talk with their children about alcohol. According to Nielsen, the July Fourth holiday week ranked as the highest beer-selling period of 2014.

“People in the beer business think about responsibility day in and day out,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “Whether it’s a July Fourth celebration, a baseball game with friends, or a day out on the water, we encourage Americans to drink beer responsibly this summer and utilize the many programs available.”

America’s brewers and importers back dozens of national and community-based programs designed to promote responsible drinking and discourage underage drinking and drunk driving. The industry partners with taxi apps and community-based groups and offers discount codes, free rides, e-books for parents and guides that help match parenting styles with the cognitive development of their children. After all, studies show that parents are the greatest influence on teens.  Of 13-17 year-olds, 68 percent cite their parents as the leading influence on whether they drink or not (GfK Roper Youth Report).

Summer Tips for Responsible Drinking:

  • Use your smart phone to connect with taxi companies and safe rides home, like HEINEKEN USA partners Curb and Uber; Bud Light Taxi; or simply call 1-800-TAXICAB, supported by MillerCoors.
  • If you are celebrating in the nation’s capital, call 1-800-200-TAXI for a free ride home courtesy of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s SoberRide, whose sponsors include Budweiser, Constellation Brands and MillerCoors.
  • Moderate and keep track of your consumption. You can even check out HEINEKEN USA’s partner Alcohoot, a smart phone-based breathalyzer program.
  • Designate a skipper, and if you are spending time in the sun, ensure you are eating and pacing yourself throughout the day. Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol is illegal in all states.
  • Learn how to talk with your teens about alcohol from resources like the Health Alliance on Alcohol, Let’s Keep Talking guide or the Family Talk About Drinking program. Parents are the leading influence on teens’ drinking decisions.

Government statistics and other research shows these and other programs to prevent alcohol misuse are paying off:

  • According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drunk-driving fatalities have decreased 52 percent since 1982 and 14 percent in the past five years.
  • In 2014, alcohol use by the nation’s teens continued its long-term decline. According to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, drinking among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students is at record lows.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Survey on Drug Use and Health of 12-17 year-olds, teen past-month drinking has declined 34 percent since 2002, to a new record-low level.

But while the historical trends point to record low rates of alcohol misuse, McGreevy said that major brewers would continue investing toward the goal of reducing misuse to zero.

“We have made some excellent progress, but our work continues,” McGreevy said. “We will continue to partner with parents, educators, law enforcement and community groups to promote the safe and legal consumption of beer in communities across the nation during the summer and all year long.”

To learn more about programs supported by the beer industry to promote responsible consumption, please visit


The Beer Institute is a national trade association for the American brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. First founded in 1862 as the U.S. Brewers Association, the Beer Institute is committed today to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: Connect with us @BeerInstitute and on Facebook.