Deerfield, Ill. - February 27, 2008 - Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. [Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO)], a global leader in premium spirits and wine, and the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) joined forces today to raise awareness about the effectiveness of DUI Courts in Nevada, where state legislators recently passed a law to establish additional DUI Courts. With more than 17,000 people killed by drunk drivers every year, Beam Global and NCDC have partnered together since 2007 to bring national attention to the effectiveness of DUI Courts in reducing the recidivism rate of offenders. DUI Courts deal with hardcore and repeat drunk driving offenders by providing long-term, ongoing accountability and rehabilitation, in addition to conviction.
DUI Court judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials assembled to support the expansion of DUI Courts in Nevada. NASCAR driver and team owner Robby Gordon joined Beam Global CEO Tom Flocco in thanking Nevada state legislators for their support and to acknowledge the life-saving efforts of DUI Courts.
"Beam Global Spirits & Wine is committed to eliminating drunk driving," said Tom Flocco, president and CEO, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. "We support programs that reduce drunk driving and are committed to working with any state willing to help save lives by establishing more DUI Courts. Nevada's pilot DUI Court illustrates the effectiveness of this program. We encourage others join us in support of NCDC and the fight to eliminate hardcore drunk driving."
"We are pleased that Nevada has had great success with DUI Courts and applaud state legislators for passing Senate Bill 277," stated West Huddleston, executive director of the National Center for DWI Courts and the chief executive officer of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. "The Nevada DUI Court pilot program has proven that blending long-term treatment with the accountability, immediacy and certainty of court response works more effectively than punishment alone. We hope to build on that success by raising awareness for DUI Courts in Nevada and throughout the country."
Clark County, Nevada established a pilot program with one DUI Court in its jurisdiction eight years ago. Nearly 400 offenders have successfully completed the program. Of those who successfully graduated, only 12 percent had a repeat drunk driving offense within three years of their graduation.
"Nevadans have seen first hand that DUI courts are an effective way to punish those who break the law and to deter drunk drivers by targeting repeat offenders and individuals with high BAC levels. Expanding this effort, along with programs to teach drivers about the dangers of impairment, are two ways that we can make America's roads and highways safer. As co-chair of the Congressional STOP DUI caucus, I applaud the men and women of law enforcement and our courts for protecting the public and for their support of efforts to prevent drunk driving," said Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV).
"I am very pleased that Nevada has been so committed to the expansion of DUI Courts in the state," said Jon Porter (D-NV), co-chair of the STOP DUI caucus. "Individuals who have driven under the influence of alcohol, or driven while impaired, have taken thousands of lives and shattered so many families. As public officials, it is our responsibility to reduce drunk driving incidents and this is a huge step in the right direction."
"We need to keep our roads safe from drunk drivers," commented Nevada State Senator Valerie Wiener (D-NV). "Hardcore drunk drivers are causing the vast majority of alcohol related traffic fatalities and we need to address this severe form of drunk driving head on. I am proud to have been the sponsor of legislation supporting Nevada's DUI courts and their efforts to protect our community."
"DUI Courts are saving lives," stated Chief Judge Kathy A. Hardcastle, Eighth Judicial District Court. "Nevada is a powerful example of how effective DUI Courts can be. On behalf of other DUI Court judges, we would like to thank Nevada legislators for supporting this program. We encourage other states to follow Nevada's lead in establishing more DUI Courts."
"I am truly impressed with the results of DUI Courts to reduce drunk driving," commented Robby Gordon. "I would like to offer my appreciation to Beam Global for supporting the National Center for DUI Courts and for including me in their efforts to help raise awareness for this life-saving program. I thank Nevada legislators for their efforts in expanding DUI Courts throughout the state and encourage other states to follow Nevada's lead."
Beam Global and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) partnered in May 2007 to launch the National Center for DWI Courts, which focuses solely on hardcore and repeat drunk driving offenders. Beam Global is in its second year working with NCDC to help raise awareness about the effectiveness of DUI Courts. In 2007, 25 states established 29 DUI Courts to address hardcore drunk driving.
Beam Global is also a primary contributor to The Century Council, a not-for-profit organization that is funded by leading distillers and dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. The Century Council promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol and discourages all forms of irresponsible consumption through education, communication, research, law enforcement and other programs. More information about The Century Council can be found at www.centurycouncil.org.
About Beam Global Spirits & Wine:
Inspiring conversations around the world, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., is building brands people want to talk about. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam Bourbon, Sauza Tequila, Canadian Club Whisky, Courvoisier Cognac, Maker's Mark Bourbon, Laphroaig Scotch Whisky, Larios Gin, Whisky DYC, Teacher's Scotch Whisky, DeKuyper Cordials and Liqueurs, Knob Creek Bourbon and Starbucks Liqueurs. Beam Global Spirits & Wine is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO), a leading consumer brands company with annual sales exceeding $8 billion. For more information on Beam Global Spirits & Wine, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.
About The National Association for Drug Professionals:
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1994 by a group of visionaries to reduce the negative social impact of substance abuse, crime, and recidivism by:
- promoting and advocating for the establishment and funding of drug courts, DWI courts and other problem-solving courts;
- providing for the collection and dissemination of information;
- providing training, technical assistance and mutual support to courts nationwide
Within its short 13-year history, NADCP has become the premier national training and advocacy organization for over 1,900 drug and DWI courts nationally by:
- serving as the only national organization representing over 19,000 multi-disciplinary drug court professionals before federal and state lawmakers;
- annually hosting approximately 130 court training and technical assistance events that have benefited thousands of court practitioners;
- writing, publishing, and disseminating scholastic and practical publications that are critical to the ongoing growth and fidelity of the drug court model; and
- creating a vision of a reformed criminal justice system by impacting policy and legislation.