Staker Parson Companies unveiled four mixers that have been wrapped with messages reminding parents to set concrete "no alcohol" rules for their teens. Eventually 40 trucks will be seen throughout the state sending the message that parents are the primary reason their kids choose not to drink. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Staker Parson CEO Scott Parson and Art Brown, President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), spoke at the event.
Governor Herbert spoke to those in attendance not just as the governor, but as a parent. He reminded parents that teenagers usually drink to get drunk. Because their brains are still developing, alcohol impairs their memory, learning capability and impulse control, and teens who drink have a greater likelihood of developing alcohol dependence. "If you"re a parent, make your disapproval of underage drinking absolutely clear," said Governor Herbert. "Talk to your children. Set firm rules against using alcohol. And under absolutely no circumstances provide alcohol to your teens."
"This message holds significant personal importance to me as the father of teenagers," said Scott Parson. "Underage drinking is a community issue that requires a community solution. We believe that through the partnership between Staker Parson and Utah's underage drinking prevention program, ParentsEmpowered.org, we can encourage Utah's parents and youth to build a strong foundation for their lives by making the choice to avoid underage alcohol use. Remember, teens and alcohol don"t mix."
At the end of the press conference, Governor Herbert set the message in motion by turning on the concrete truck's mixer barrel. The crowd cheered as the barrel rotated, displaying one of the new messages: when parents set "no alcohol rules," teens have a brighter future.
Representatives from the Division of Alcohol and Beverage Control, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and Utah PTA were also present at the event.