PDFNJ Launches Statewide Media Campaign to Keep Legal Drinking Age at 21



February 17, 2009
Michelle Vernuccio
Media Coordinator
Phone: 201.916.1029
E-mail: michelle@drugfreenj.org

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Launches Statewide Media Campaign to Support Maintaining 21 as Legal Drinking Age


(MILLBURN - NJ) The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) today launched a statewide media campaign entitled "21 Reasons" encouraging New Jersey residents to support maintaining the current legal drinking age at 21.

According to the PDFNJ's Executive Director, Angelo M. Valente, the statewide Public Service Campaign features bus and train interior signs with images of 21 young people whose lives will continue to be saved as a result of maintaining the legal drinking age at 21. Over 1200 buses traveling throughout New Jersey and over 300 PATH trains traveling between New York City and New Jersey are expected to run the "21 Reasons" campaign messages.

"Since the drinking age in New Jersey was raised to 21, the number of young people killed in drunk-driving crashes has dropped nearly 78-percent," Valente stated. The "21 Reasons" Public Service Campaign will alert New Jersey residents of the extremely dangerous consequences associated with lowering the state's legal drinking age."

The NJ21 Coalition is a partnership organized by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and comprised of State government, law enforcement and non-profit agencies opposed to lowering the drinking age. The Coalition was created in response to the Amethyst Initiative, a recently developed effort that has received support from college and university presidents across the nation who believe the current minimum legal drinking age should be revised.

"The current legal drinking age of 21 has had a life-saving impact on New Jersey's young people," stated Pam Fischer, Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. "Clearly, the decline in the number of young lives lost in drunk driving crashes since the drinking age was changed to 21 tells us that we have made progress- significant progress- in keeping young people safe from the tragic consequences of drinking and driving. There's no need to change what's working."

"History has shown that keeping the drinking age at 21 saves lives," Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Jerry Fischer said. "Maintaining the current minimum drinking age is a crucial step in keeping alcohol out of the hands of young people. "My office applauds the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey for its continued efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking."

The members of the NJ21 Coalition include: New Jersey Office of the Attorney General; New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety; New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control; New Jersey State Police; New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services; New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission; Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey; MADD; New Jersey State Safety Council; New Jersey Police Traffic Officers' Association; Sheriffs' Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Prevention Network; Childhood Drinking (CD) Coalition; New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police; HERO Campaign; Rowan University; NJPTA; Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; Association of Student Assistance Professionals; William Paterson University; NJ Higher Education Consortium on Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention and Education and Drug Free Schools Coalition.

For more information please on this campaign please refer to:


NJ 21 Coalition


Best known for its statewide anti-drug advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication. To date, more than $50 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership's New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey's history. Since its inception the Partnership has garnered over 46 Advertising and Public Relations Awards from National, Regional & Statewide Media Organizations.