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Bush Signs STOP Act into Law

Join Together, December 22, 2006

The STOP (Sober Truth on Preventing) Underage Drinking Act, called the most significant piece of underage-drinking prevention legislation passed by Congress in years, has been signed into law by President Bush.

Bush signed the bill on Dec. 20. The STOP Act establishes a national media campaign aimed at underage drinking, funds underage-drinking prevention programs in communities, and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to report annually on progress against youth drinking.

"Today's historic signing into law of our nation's first comprehensive legislation on underage drinking is a significant step toward bringing this national public-health crisis out of the shadows," said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), the lead sponsor of the bill. "Prior to being elected to public office, I worked for a nonprofit agency which focused on alcohol abuse. I witnessed firsthand the many devastating consequences of irresponsible drinking. That experience made me realize that, as a nation, we must no longer be complacent about underage drinking and its alarming consequences."

The STOP Act enacts into law some of the recommendations from a Institute of Medicine study on youth drinking. The bill was endorsed both by public-health groups and alcohol-industry representatives.