April 2012 and Saturday, April 21: Alcohol Awareness Month and "PowerTalk 21 Day"

WHEREAS, each year, youth violence, traffic crashes, property crime and medical treatment due to underage alcohol use costs the state of Michigan $2 billion; adolescence is an extremely critical and often vulnerable stage of human development, and it is at this time that many youths experiment with substances such as alcohol; and,


WHEREAS, recent data reveals that 69 percent of Michigan's middle and high school students report consuming at least one drink of alcohol, and in addition, those who consume alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to experience alcohol addiction and abuse later in life; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan ranks ninth in the country in the average number of deaths attributed to fatal motor vehicle crashes in which at least one driver 16 to 25 years of age had been drinking; and,


WHEREAS, the majority of adolescents say their parents are the primary influence when it comes to decisions about drinking alcohol; in 2011, Mothers Against Drunk Driving established April 21 as "PowerTalk 21 Day," a designated time to encourage parents and caregivers to embrace their important role in influencing America's youth and their decisions about drinking alcohol; and,


WHEREAS, during this month, we join with the Michigan Department of Community Health and Mothers Against Drunk Driving to ask that parents, youths, government agencies, public and private institutions, workplaces and all Michigan citizens support the efforts to reduce and prevent underage drinking in our state;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2012 as Alcohol Awareness Month and Saturday, April 21, 2012 as "Power Talk 21 Day" in Michigan.