Marin Institute Honors Beall For ALCOPOPS Bill And Proposed Beer Tax

June 26, 2008
Contact: Rodney Foo @  (408) 282-8920
Santa Clara and San Mateo counties' share could mean up to 1.17 million pounds of food for local food banks

Assemblymember Jim Beall, Jr., D-San Jose, will be honored Friday by the Marin Institute for his efforts in working for an effective alcohol policy in California.

The Marin Institute, a San Rafael-based organization dedicated to protecting society from the alcohol industry's Negative practices, will present Beall with its 2008 Alcohol Industry Watchdog Award.

"I'm gratified to receive this award from the Marin Institute, an organization that works around-the-clock, every day of every year, to prevent underage drinking and alcoholism,'' Beall said. "Their work has made California a healthier place to live.''

The award is recognition for Beall's legislation, Assembly Bill 346, to force the makers of "alcopops'' to prominently label their products as alcoholic drinks. These sweetened, liquor-laced drinks imitate not only the taste but appearance of energy drinks, sodas, and fruit juices, creating confusion for consumers – especially minors – as to what they are exactly buying. Assembly Bill 346 is pending in the Legislature.

In July, Beall will introduce a constitutional amendment to increase the excise tax on beer, a tax that has not been raised in 17 years. Revenue from the proposed tax will be used to help pay for the staggering burden alcohol-related accidents, assaults, and fatalities places on our society. The revenue would be used exclusively for emergency room and trauma car, law enforcement, school counseling, prevention and intervention programs, mental health programs, and market research to counter the alcohol industry's pervasive ad campaigns.

In addition to honoring Beall, the Marin Institute will bestow its 2008 Leadership Award to Larry Meredith, director of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. The institute will also give its media award to a CBS4 Miami television news unit for its report on the dangers of alcoholic energy drinks.