ST. LOUIS, July 22 // -- Anheuser-Busch congratulates South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long for his continued commitment to drunk-driving prevention through his innovative, cost-effective and award-winning program "24/7 Sobriety," which works to change the behavior of chronic Driving While Impaired (DWI) offenders and prevent repeat DWI arrests.
On June 30 in Washington, D.C., General Long and "24/7 Sobriety" program manager Bill Mickelson were awarded the John P. McGovern Award for their work and dedication to the program. This award is given by the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., a non-profit organization, to recognize outstanding innovation in drug abuse prevention.
"Recent government research shows drunk-driving fatalities declined more than nine percent last year, which reinforces why Anheuser-Busch is dedicated to projects like the 24/7 program that play a role in bringing those numbers down," said Carol Clark, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at Anheuser-Busch. "General Long's innovative program centered on full-time sobriety has dramatically changed the way DWIs are managed, making monitoring of offenders cost-effective and practical, while helping them reclaim their lives from alcohol abuse."
What started as a pilot program in 2005 to monitor the sobriety of DWI offenders 24 hours a day, seven days a week, has expanded to 56 counties throughout South Dakota. An early and strong supporter of the program, Anheuser-Busch provided $10,000 to help General Long expand the program to rural counties.
According to data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2007, two-thirds of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .15 or higher, nearly two times the legal limit. In South Dakota, nearly three-fourths of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .15 or higher. According to General Long's award submission, this practical and relatively low cost-program has cut down both DWI repeat offenders and incarcerations in South Dakota.
Since 1982, Anheuser-Busch and its nationwide network of 600 wholesalers have invested more than $750 million in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to promote responsible drinking and prevent alcohol abuse, including drunk driving. For more information on these efforts and the progress being made, visit www.beeresponsible.com. More information about the 24/7 program is available at http://www.state.sd.us/attorney/DUI247/index.htm.