Battling Underage Drinking

The editorial regarding teenage alcohol consumption, "Drug War's New Front," Feb. 10, states as fact the notion that "use of alcohol among young Americans has held steady." The truth is quite the opposite.

According to official government statistics, underage drinking is now at its lowest level since 1974; accidents involving teenage drunk drivers are down 30 percent since 1982; and despite the author's assertions to the contrary, binge drinking among high school seniors has dropped over 20 percent in the past 10 years.

The editorial also states that "it would help if alcohol products ... were clearly labeled as to the dangers they present." The author should note that since November 1989, a government warning has been required on all containers of alcohol bottled for sale in the United States.

Underage drinking is a serious problem in American society - yet progress has been made. It is essential that we recognize this fact if our successes are to continue. F. A. Meister, Washington, President and CEO, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

The editorial notes the need for effective educational programs in the fight against illegal underage drinking. Our organization supports that approach wholeheartedly.

We, too, are concerned about illegal underage drinking, because this problem, like any form of alcohol abuse, negatively affects our business, our families, our society. This is why we offer educational programs that involve parents, teachers, and other adults in the prevention process. For instance, our "Family Talk About Drinking" program encourages parents to be good role models; to clearly state their rules and positions on drinking; to build self-esteem and strong decisionmaking skills in their chil dren. This program is available free to the public. Joseph P. Castellano, St. Louis, Vice President, Consumer Awareness & Education, Anheuser-Busch Companies Give Jerry Brown a chance

The front page article "Prolonged Democratic Battle Could Boost Bush," March 6, is about the Democratic candidates but fails to mention Edmund G. Brown altogether.

Not only is Mr. Brown a viable candidate based on his eight-year record as governor of California and his 1992 message, but also because he is the candidate who can raise the support both of well-educated voters tired of the the overwhelming corruption in our political system, and of the poor, who are the very core of "we the people" from which Brown is raising much of his support.

People of all ages, backgrounds, and colors supported Brown in his Colorado primary win, and in his strong showing in the Utah primary and the Washington caucuses. Robert S. Blair, Boulder, Colo.

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