Congress Passes Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act

Statement of CSPI Alcohol Policies Project Director George A. Hacker


Passage of the STOP Act represents a long-overdue acknowledgement of the need to do more as a nation to address the harm caused by underage drinking. Unlike illicit drugs, for which we have a comprehensive government-wide strategy, there has been no credible national plan to combat alcohol problems, by far the greater health and safety drag on our nation. That is a huge gap that must be filled, and the STOP Act is a step in the right direction.

Although the STOP Act is more modest in scope than some of its supporters would have liked, it nonetheless provides an additional $18 million per year for essential prevention purposes, including the seeds of a national media campaign to reduce underage drinking, which CSPI has sought since 1997.

We applaud the dedication of the bill’s lead sponsors, Senators DeWine and Dodd and Representatives Roybal-Allard, Wolf, Wamp, DeLauro, and Osborne, who have worked hard to craft a bill that would begin to move our country in the right direction on the nation’s number one youth substance use problem. We also thank the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee – especially HELP Committee Chairman, Senator Enzi – for their role in moving the bill. We look forward to working with Congress to fully fund and implement the STOP Act’s provisions, and to tackle unfinished business.

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