Last fall we launched the third annual Power of You(th)® Video Contest, where, along with Presenting Sponsor State Farm®, we asked teens around the country to create a 15-second Instagram video that answered the question, “If you don’t drink alcohol today, what could your tomorrow be?”
Today, we’re excited to share with you the winning video by Keegan Carlson, age 17. Keegan’s video shows that if he chooses to stay away from alcohol today, he can be anything he wants to be tomorrow — an engineer, an actor, an athlete, an artist, a dancer, an architect.
Watch the winning video now:
MADD also recognizes Ricardo Estrada Junior High School in Horizon City, Texas, for having nine student video contest entries — the most entries received from any one school, as well as Caelan “Cal” Barr, age 17, for his two runner-up videos, both of which send powerful messages about underage drinking prevention. See his videos here:
We encourage you to watch and share these videos to help empower teens to say no to alcohol and never get in a car with someone who’s been drinking.
Thank you to all the teens who participated, and congratulations to the winners!
The TODAY Show tested this in a segment featuring MADD National President Jan Withers, whose daughter Alisa was killed in a drunk driving crash caused by an underage drunk driver. The show set up a hidden camera experiment and filmed two actors waiting outside of a liquor store pretending to be underage approach nearly two dozen customers to purchase alcohol for them. The results were surprising.
The Boston University review, which focuses on research published since 2006, “has reinforced the position that the current law has served the nation well by reducing alcohol-related traffic crashes and alcohol consumption among youth, while also protecting drinkers from long-term negative outcomes they might experience in adulthood, including alcohol and other drug dependence, adverse birth outcomes and suicide and homicide.”
"The evidence is clear that there would be consequences if we lowered the legal drinking age," said lead researcher William DeJong, Ph.D., of Boston University School of Public Health.
DeJong also says that education can help discourage underage drinking. Often, youth buy into the myth, for instance, that all college students engage in heavy drinking episodes. So giving them a more realistic picture of the true "drinking norms" can be effective.
MADD has always, and continues to support the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age. We know that our hopes for a safer future are riding on today’s youth. By getting them off to a good start, we are taking a giant step toward fulfilling our vision of a nation without drunk driving. That’s why we’re focused on tackling underage drinking, a problem that threatens the safety of our kids and endangers entire communities, now and down the road.
Learn more about MADD’s Underage Drinking initiatives, including more information about the benefits and myths of the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age, as well as programs to help educate youth about the dangers of underage drinking.
President Reagan signing into law the Uniform Drinking Age Act mandating all states to adopt 21 as the legal drinking age.
While we agree with their strategy of frequent and open conversations with your kids about alcohol (starting early), one thing they didn’t cover is stressing the importance of waiting until 21 to drink alcohol.
They talk about “minimizing the risks” associated with teens experimenting with alcohol, but we know that the longer your child waits to start drinking, the safer he or she will stay.
Of all the dangers your teen faces, underage drinking is among the worst. Whether teens are experimenting with beer, wine or other liquor, alcohol presents a serious—and potentially deadly—threat. Compared with non-drinking classmates, teens who drink are more likely to:
Die in a car crash
Be sexually assaulted
Become an alcoholic later in life
Take their own life through suicide
Get the tools needed to start this ongoing conversation, including a research-based parent handbook with proven strategies for talking with teens about alcohol, at www.madd.org/powerofparents. And thank you TODAY show for covering such an important topic!
Last week, we announced that MADD National President Jan Withers would be featured on an upcoming episode of Katie Couric’s talk show, Katie, to talk about underage drinking and the importance of the 21 minimum drinking age.
If you missed the episode, you can watch all three segments here:
Parents Whose Son Died After Drinking and Driving
Dr. Brian Hoeflinger and his wife, Cindy, share the story of their son, Brian, who was 18 when he died.
Discussion of the 21 Minimum Drinking Age
MADD National President Jan Withers and MADD National Board Member Monica Vandehei are featured as part of this discussion.
Talking with Kids About Drinking
Dr. Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital and a mother of five, shares her tips on how to talk with kids about alcohol.