CADA has been in existence for almost 40 years now. We have gone through many changes and last year we introduced a new brand. A look and feel that, I believe, speaks to who we are becoming. It speaks to where we, as an organization, want to go and the vision we have for Bermuda as it pertains to alcohol.

 

.  I am going to share with you today what some of our messages mean and what role you can play to support CADA's initiatives.

Encouraging responsible alcohol behaviour . That is the CADA tagline that was introduced last year.

Our vision is to change Bermuda's culture towards alcohol.

Our mission is to make a positive change in Bermuda's relationship with alcohol.

 I would like to share our two objectives for Alcohol Awareness month - to highlight personal responsibility to reduce the incidence of underage drinking and drinking and driving in Bermuda.

Let me start with underage drinking. Our children and young people have free access to alcohol. This was proven in the responses they gave in a 2007 survey of 3,000 of Bermuda's youth aged between 13 and 18 years old, 67% of those surveyed said they had tried alcohol and in the same survey the youngest age for first use of alcohol was 11 years old.  Science tells us that the younger a child is when he or she drinks alcohol the more likely he or she is to become addicted to alcohol.  Those who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are 4 times more likely to develop alcohol addiction than those who wait until age 21.

Our role and responsibility as adults is not simply to take away car and bike keys during a party. It is not simply to say, "I will serve the alcohol to these underage kids, this way I can control their alcohol intake." It is not appropriate to turn a blind eye when we see our children and their friends sneaking off with a few cold beers from the fridge.  Our responsibility as adults is to put an end to underage drinking, once and for all.

I would now like to shift to drinking and driving. No doubt you would have heard me talk about the statistics of drinking and driving on Bermuda's roads. Of every ten deaths that occur on our roads seven involve drugs and or alcohol. That is 70%.

What does personal responsibility look like when it comes to drinking and driving?

Research shows that people who are caught drinking and driving have driven under the influence of alcohol many, many times before. Therefore when you go out and alcohol is involved make sure you know how you are getting home before you leave your house.

There are several options available - catch a bus, take a cab or have a designated driver. It is as simple as that. Through our advertising we encourage people to take personal responsibility before they start drinking.

We will continue to work closely with our community partners, the Bermuda Police Service and the Road Safety Council.

Many of you may not be aware of the close working relationship that CADA has shared with the Department for National Drug Control for many years. CADA receives partial funding from the DNDC and with their support we have developed and implemented a number of alcohol abuse prevention programs.

CADA board members, staff and volunteers will be standing with Johnny Barnes at Crow Lane round about, waving early on Friday morning which is Know Alcohol Day.

That is K N O W Alcohol Day.  In the past we have had N O Alcohol Day - a day which we encouraged the general public not to drink alcohol. We have changed our focus as we feel it is important that people have a full understanding of the important role they play in reducing underage drinking and reducing the incidence of drinking and driving on our roads.