Preventing Underage Access

Underage Access Prevention

MillerCoors position on underage drinking is simple — we do not want underage consumers. We work with stakeholders, including the Federal Trade Commission, local law enforcement, parents, distributors, retailers and community groups to help prevent underage access to alcohol. We care greatly about preventing underage drinking. After all, we are parents, too.

Parents Matter

Research shows that parents have the single greatest influence on whether underage people drink. At MillerCoors, we cooperate with experts in the fields of education, family therapy, law enforcement and student health and wellness to help parents find ways to teach their kids to make responsible decisions. As parents, we can all ask the right questions and prepare kids for college and life after high school, helping them learn the laws governing underage drinking and the consequences of their choices on other people. We want them to grow up to be healthy and successful adults. We want the best for our kids, and we want the best for your kids, too.

We have developed a number of toolkits, materials and partnerships that focus on what parents can do to prevent underage drinking. We supported the development of Let’s Keep Talking, a brochure to help parents talk to their teens about alcohol.

Kids Making Smart Choices

MillerCoors sponsors Smart Choices, a peer-led program that provides fourth through eighth graders with the tools, skills and knowledge they need to avoid substance abuse and make healthy choices. Led by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Smart Choices trained approximately 20 Smart Leaders in 2011 to serve as peer educators. These leaders provided educational sessions to approximately 300 kids during the school year and are expected to educate 150 kids through Smart Choices clubs continuing into the summer months. We believe in the Smart Choices program because it gives kids the opportunity to form a positive social network and to support each other in making smart, long-term decisions.

Distributors and Retailers: Essential Allies

Our distributors are essential allies in our efforts to prevent the sale of our products to anyone under age 21. They help us bring consistent, important messages to educate retailers, inform consumers and bring solutions to communities. We have developed or sponsored a number of programs to support our distributors in their efforts to reduce underage access to our products, discourage irresponsible consumption and help prevent drunk driving. Together, we are building a multipart strategy to achieve one simple goal — zero underage consumers.

Learn about our distributors’ initiatives to discourage irresponsible consumption and prevent drunk driving.

Award for Distributors

Each year, MillerCoors presents the President’s Award as our most prestigious level of recognition for distributors. To be eligible for the award, a distributor is required to maintain programs that support responsible consumption, and the award winners often represent stellar examples of these initiatives. We congratulate Rocky Mountain Brewing Company, the overall 2011 winner.

Underage Access Prevention at Retail

MillerCoors developed the Respect 21 program with Brandeis University and the Responsible Retailing Forum to help communities raise awareness and guide retailers in improving practices to prevent underage access. We provide our distributors with point-of-sale materials and a guide to responsible retailing practices to share with retail accounts in Respect 21 communities. Mystery shoppers visit these retailers to test the retailers’ effectiveness in limiting underage access to alcohol. Results of these visits are presented confidentially to the retailer. Key stakeholders and MillerCoors also receive quarterly summary reports for each community involved with the program.

We believe the Respect 21™ program has real and immediate results in reducing underage access to alcohol. That is why we expanded the program in 2011 to four new cities. We also extended the program model from a six-month to a 12-month approach. That is why we expanded the program in 2011 to four new cities. In September 2011, we held a statewide Responsible Retailing Forum meeting in Wisconsin, and have plans for future statewide meetings. Since its inception in 2005, 23 communities and 1,198 retailers around the U.S. have benefited from Respect 21.

We supplement our Respect 21 program with investments in Certified Alcohol Server Training (CAST) materials to provide to liquor, convenience and grocery stores. We believe strongly that appropriate training provides retailers with the confidence, decision-making skills and information they need to prevent underage drinking.

Underage Access Prevention at Bars and Restaurants

Responsible alcohol service at bars and restaurants is in everyone’s best interest. To help prevent underage drinking, drunk driving and alcohol abuse, we are a founding sponsor of Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS), a nationwide program that trains servers to recognize and intervene in potential alcohol-related irresponsible behaviors. In the past 20 years, TIPS has trained more than 3 million bartenders and servers on how drinking can affect behavior, how to prevent underage access and how to prevent alcohol abuse.

Learn more about our partnership with TIPS.


Underage Access Prevention at Sports Venues

We believe the enjoyment of alcohol at sports and entertainment facilities is for legal-drinking-age consumers only. We have partnered with Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition to prevent underage drinking and promote responsible fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities. We invest in TEAM Coalition training for concession personnel at sports and entertainment facilities across the country. Our goal is to deliver a consistent message: MillerCoors does not want underage consumers.

Learn more about our partnership with TEAM Coalition.