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News : Health May 15, 2009 - 1:23 PM

State launches media campaign to combat underage drinking that targets parents

By Governor Rell's Office

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Federally funded campaign focusing on underage drinking laws, impact of alcohol on teenage brain development

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced the kick-off of “SetTheRulesCT,” a public awareness campaign aimed at reducing underage drinking in Connecticut.

The campaign targets parents and other adults by providing information on Connecticut’s underage drinking laws and the impact of alcohol on teenage brain development. The federally funded campaign will be featured on television, radio and other forms of advertising over the next three years.

A Web site,, will offer parents information, news and local resources. Campaign materials also will be available at no cost to Connecticut cities and towns, colleges, prevention and education organizations.

“As we head into prom and graduation party season, this public awareness campaign will help parents to understand the issues and will urge them set boundaries and rules in their homes,” Governor Rell said. “We know it is tough for parents to do this alone. That’s why has some of the best online resources available and also tells people where to find help locally.”

The Governor said the campaign delivers two important messages to parents:

· Hosting underage drinking parties is against the law;

· Alcohol consumption before age 21 can cause permanent brain damage.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is addressing the growing problem of underage drinking through numerous initiatives, including public advertising programs. The “SetTheRulesCT” public awareness campaign is funded entirely through the agency’s Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program.

Recognizing that problems associated with underage drinking cannot be addressed by focusing solely on youth, the State of Connecticut is using the opportunity to target parents and other adults, because:

Parents tend to dramatically underestimate teenage binge drinking and their own children’s drinking in particular and, in some cases, parents enable and/or condone underage drinking;

· Nationally, 65 percent of teenagers report getting their alcohol from family and friends; and research proves that parents are the most influential person in their child’s life and are the key to preventing underage drinking.

· The campaign will emphasize that providing alcohol to minors is against the law. Similarly, there will be considerable focus on educating parents about the consequences of hosting underage drinking parties. Equal attention will be paid to raising awareness about the impact of alcohol on teen brain development.

To learn more about this initiative, Connecticut’s underage drinking laws, the impact of alcohol on the teen brain and to find local resources by town, visit

“SetTheRulesCT” is administered by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC)’s Subcommittee on Combating Underage Drinking.

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