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Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2007

Connecticut State Police to Combat Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking
As School Year Approaches

Public Service Initiative Begins with Distribution of Fraud Detection Devices

The Connecticut State Police today unveiled its plans to reduce illegal activity related to alcohol consumption as the school year begins. The campaign, titled “Underage = Under Arrest,” will help licensed retailers across the state better ensure they sell alcohol only to customers over the age of 21.

The State Police campaign, which will be further supported by public service announcements, involves the distribution of state-of-the-art lenses that can visually verify a valid Connecticut driver’s licenses by retailers, State, Local and University Police Departments.

The initiative was announced Thursday afternoon at Connecticut State Police Headquarters in Middletown. Taking part in the press conference were representatives of Connecticut Department of Public Safety, State Police, Local Police, Connecticut University Police, the State Attorneys’ Office, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Heineken USA.

The State Police, in coordination with Heineken USA and its distributors, began issuing fraud detection lenses to licensed alcohol retailers across the state earlier this week. When the decoding lens is placed over driver’s license, it reveals data unseen by the naked eye to help identify fraudulent and altered Connecticut Drivers Licenses.

         State Police, Local Police and University Police will also distribute posters with a message discouraging underage drinking and drunk driving.  In addition, public service announcements on local radio stations will promote the message.

“The Connecticut Department of Public Safety and the State, Local, and University Police are all aware that there is a great deal of pressure on students to obtain and consume alcohol before they are legally able.  Our Troopers and Law Enforcement Partners will take an active role in reducing underage drinking among youth and college students,” said Commissioner John A. Danaher III.  “The Connecticut State Police, along with retailers, are on the front line in the fight against false identification.”

Tamara Moore, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Heineken USA said, “Heineken USA is pleased to again support the Connecticut State and Local Police in their continued efforts to reduce illegal consumption of alcohol. Our previous joint efforts have helped reduce drunk driving incidents in Connecticut and we are committed to continuing our efforts to reduce underage drinking.  These verifiers will help our retailers to effectively deal with the problem of counterfeit licenses.  As a leading alcohol beverage company, Heineken USA believes we have an important role to play to encourage the responsible behavior related to alcohol. We applaud the Police and our distributors for joining us in this effort.”

The verifier distribution and associated public service announcement campaign marks the fifth program in the last three years developed jointly by the Connecticut State Police and Heineken USA designed to encourage responsible behavior related to alcohol consumption. Previous initiatives included a 2005 spring break campaign that highlighted the risks associated with underage drinking, and public service announcements during the 2005 and 2006 holiday seasons to help reduce drunk driving.

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