New Canaan High School Welcomes Brandon Silveria To Encourage Teens To 'Make The Right Choice' As They Prepare For Prom Season

Diageo Backs Initiatives Across the Country Aimed at Preventing Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking

Apr 12, 2010, 09:18 ET from Diageo

NORWALK, Conn., April 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- April marks Alcohol Awareness Month and the beginning of Prom Season, which is the perfect time to speak to youth about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving. That is why Diageo, the world's leading spirits, wine and beer company, and industry leader in promoting responsible drinking, is bringing a life-saving lesson to students at New Canaan High School on April 12.  Brandon Silveria, and his father Tony, will speak to students about the importance of 'making the right choice' about alcohol, and that if students are under the age of 21, the only responsible decision is not to drink.  Brandon is a man who was involved in an alcohol-related crash at age 17 just before his high school prom.

"Diageo employees want to make sure that our products stay out of the hands of youth under twenty-one and we know that educating them about the dangers of underage drinking can help," said Guy Smith, Executive Vice President of Diageo North America.  "Prom season is a critical time for Brandon to share his powerful message, and our aim is to raise awareness about the serious problem of underage drinking and drunk driving and assist our youth to make the right choice about alcohol."

Brandon and his father, Tony, will also be presenting their message to employees and their families at Diageo's North American headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut. This marks the 14th time Diageo has brought 'Brandon Tells His Story' to Diageo facilities across the country and the 14th time to community high schools, reaching 3,000 employees and 8,000 students within the last 12 months.

During the presentation, Brandon tells 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, crossing the centerline and crashing into a tree, he was left in a coma for three months and spent several years in rehabilitation. Brandon was so badly injured that basic motor functions such as walking, talking and swallowing had to be re-learned.  He has permanent brain injury and suffers from dangerous seizures.  Brandon's 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 17, 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."

Bringing 'Brandon Tells His Story' to Fairfield County Connecticut is just one part of Diageo's efforts during Alcohol Awareness Month. Diageo will also facilitate DRINKiQ sessions with employees nationwide to further engage employees on alcohol in society, provide educational resources to employees, and host a Responsible Drinking Forum featuring leaders in the industry.

Local businesses have also contributed to the month's activities. Norwalk based Teddy's Limousine, donated gift certificates to Diageo employee raffles to help raise awareness for the need to have a designated driver.

About Diageo

Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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SOURCE Diageo



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