Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum Promotes Safe Prom and Graduation

Nationally recognized teen speaker urges students to 'Make The Right


May 08, 2008, 01:00 ET from The Century Council

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Florida Attorney
 General Bill McCollum and The Century Council today brought a life-saving
 lesson about the dangers of drunk driving and underage drinking to students
 of Leon High School. Nationally recognized speaker, Brandon Silveria and
 his father Tony spoke to students about the importance of "making the right
 choice" about alcohol -- and emphasized that if students are under the age
 of 21, the only responsible decision is not to drink. Brandon is a young
 man who, at age 17 was involved in an alcohol-related crash just before his
 high school prom. The Century Council is a national not-for-profit
 organization funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and
 underage drinking.
     "Prom and Graduation Season is a time of great celebration for high
 school students. But sadly, alcohol is sometimes part of that celebration,"
 said Attorney General McCollum. "It is important that we continue efforts
 to stop drunk driving and underage drinking, especially during these
 special occasions. I am proud to have Brandon and Tony Silveria with us
 today to communicate their life-saving message."
     "In Florida in 2006, 388 youths under age 18 were arrested for driving
 under the influence and 1,418 youths were arrested for liquor law
 violations (UCR 2006)," said Shannon Adams of The Century Council. "Our
 goal with this presentation is to raise awareness about this serious
 problem and help our youth to make the right choice about alcohol. I'm
 pleased we were invited to Leon High School today, and I am hopeful that
 Brandon and his father's words will resonate with the students."
     During the presentation, Brandon told students his wrenching story of
 how as a high school student he had everything a teenager could want--a
 job, a girlfriend and plans for the future--until he had a few drinks at a
 party and chose to drive home. After falling asleep at the wheel, he
 crossed the centerline of the highway and crashed into a tree. He was left
 in a coma for three months and was so badly injured that he spent several
 years in rehabilitation, relearning basic motor functions such as walking,
 talking and swallowing. He still suffers from permanent brain injury and
 dangerous seizures. His presentations continue to receive standing ovations
 from students across the country.
     "What you become depends on the choices that you make," said Brandon.
 "When I was seventeen, I had a job and a girlfriend. Because of my crash, I
 lost both of them. My hope is that by sharing my experiences with other
 young people, I can prevent others from being hurt or killed."
     According to a 2007 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety
 Administration, statistics show that in 2006, 714 youths under 21 were
 killed in alcohol-related traffic fatalities during the Prom and Graduation
 Season (April, May, June). Over the past ten years, there has been an
 eleven percent reduction in the number of our youth killed as a result of
 alcohol-related traffic crashes during this time.
     Through educational efforts such as the Silveria lecture and video
 program, The Century Council educates students across the country about the
 hazards of underage drinking and driving. Since Brandon and his father Tony
 have become spokespeople for The Century Council, they have addressed well
 over two million high school students nationwide and have been featured on
 such television programs as "Rescue 911," NBC's "Today," as well as media
 outlets across the country.
     The Century Council is a national, not-for-profit organization
 dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. Founded in 1991,
 The Council is funded by distillers.
     For more information on The Council and its mission, please log onto

SOURCE The Century Council