Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today announced he is again supporting bipartisan legislation to reauthorize existing programs to prevent underage drinking.
The STOP (Sober Truth on Preventing) Underage Drinking Act reauthorizes the coordination of existing, successful federal programs and research initiatives at current funding levels, as well as a parent-focused national media campaign to prevent underage drinking. The legislation also establishes grants to help pediatric health care providers screen and treat children exposed to alcohol.
The bill has widespread support from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA).
For each year from fiscal year 2014 to FY 2018, the bill authorizes: $1 million to fund the national media campaign; $6 million to fund community-based programs; $2.5 million to fund grants for partnerships between community coalitions and institutions of higher education; $3 million to fund grants to pediatric health care providers to reduce underage drinking; and $4.5 million to fund data research and collection.
Wolf first cosponsored the measure in 2005 and helped lead the successful bipartisan, bicameral efforts in 2006 that got these programs passed.
"Many parents don't realize the enormity of this problem and often underestimate the prevalence of alcohol use by teens," said Wolf, who has been recognized by MADD for his leadership and work to prevent underage drinking. "While our measure has helped make strides in the fight to prevent drinking among children and teens, we must continue our efforts in order to protect our children against the alcohol industry's aggressive marketing of its products that encourage children to buy and use alcohol."
Wolf, a longtime advocate for measures to protect minors from the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, worked with MADD on a project that would unify the standard to determine whether someone is driving under the influence among all 50 states. He also cosponsored the STOP Act last Congress, in 2011.