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Social responsibility impact report highlights KDA’s efforts to craft better drinking culture

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association released its first-ever social responsibility impact report that outlines the group’s significant progress since boosting its leadership and commitment to this top industry priority two years ago.

The report, titled “Crafting A Better Drinking Culture,” reflects on the progress made with key stakeholders towards the industry’s data-driven efforts to reduce impaired driving, promote mindful consumption, prevent underage access to alcohol, and respect non-drinkers.

Among the many great efforts, the KDA and its members have effectively:

•Partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to strengthen Kentucky’s DUI laws.

•Captured hundreds of fake IDs with Intellicheck’s AgeID state-of-the-art technology.

•Funded The Mocktail Project’s efforts to increase zero-proof cocktail menus across the Commonwealth.

•Hired the industry’s first Director of Social Responsibility to develop and manage programs and policies that make a difference in alcohol responsibility, community engagement and environmental sustainability.

A digital version can be accessed online at kybourbontrail.com.

“The KDA and its members are pleased to share the results of our constructive efforts to prevent alcohol-related harms and provide a positive experience with our brands through shared best practices,” said Josh Hafer, Senior Manager at Heaven Hill Brands and Chairman of KDA’s Social Responsibility Committee.

“These efforts are genuine and demonstrate our willingness to collaborate with a variety of non-traditional partners across the public, private and non-profit sectors,” Hafer added. “It isn’t a marketing campaign. It’s a commitment that we take seriously.”

KDA President Eric Gregory praised lawmakers and government officials for their leadership and assistance.

Alcohol Beverage Control enforcement officers in Louisville are now equipped with the same ID authentication technology that distilleries use, and the Louisville Downtown Partnership has uploaded the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour’s responsibility information onto all City Post terminals downtown.

The KDA also worked closely with legislators and MADD during the last legislative session to pass Senate Bill 85, which expands Kentucky’s ignition interlock program and offers monitoring and treatment services to help DUI offenders change harmful behaviors.

“One thing we learned early in this process was that we couldn’t achieve our goals by working alone,” Gregory said. “We’re extremely thankful to all the people and partners across the Commonwealth that provided assistance and resources. It’s truly been a team effort.”

One of the most high-profile success stories has been the Safe Ride Kentucky coalition, led by the KDA and sponsored by Lyft, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, Becker Law Office, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Kentucky, and AAA.

The group has offered discounted Lyft rides during high-traffic holidays like Independence Day, Labor Day, and the Christmas holidays. So far, the effort has kept almost 8,000 potentially impaired drivers off Kentucky roadways.

“Reducing the number of impaired drivers on our roadways requires buy-in from private and public sectors,” said Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula. “We’re proud to partner with the KDA and the Safe Ride KY coalition to provide safe ride discounts to encourage drivers to make a responsible choice before getting behind the wheel.”

For the remaining half of 2019, the KDA and its member distillers will distribute the report to key stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth and facilitate conversations about what more needs to be done.

“We’ve been so focused on building partnerships that we haven’t taken adequate time to tell our story,” said KDA Director of Social Responsibility Ali Edelstein. “We hope this report will raise awareness of our industry’s initiatives, provoke conversation about their effectiveness, and inspire others to get involved.”

Individuals or organizations that would like to provide feedback or host a community conversation about KDA’s responsibility initiatives are invited to email Edelstein at ali@kybourbon.com.

From Kentucky Distillers’ Association

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