05/20/2011 05:11 pm ET | Updated Jul 20, 2011

Beverage Trade Group Takes Aim At World Health Organization, MADD, CDC

According to the trade association the American Beverage Institute, "anti-alcohol activists" groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a "hidden neoprohibitionist agenda." To combat these "temperance-minded individuals," the ABI created The New Prohibition website to fight back against those organizations that "advocate policies that discourage responsible drinking and limit the availability of alcohol."

The New Prohibition details what ABI deems "Prohibitionist Policies" such as alcohol advertising bans and "Bad Stats" (for example, the ABI believes that sobriety checkpoints are ineffective in stopping drunk driving).

The ABI describes itself as a "restaurant trade association dedicated to protecting the on-premise dining experience — which often includes the responsible consumption of adult beverages." Other recent initiatives include opposing both the 3% increase of the "job-killing drink tax" in Maryland and the installation of breathalyzers in the cars of low-BAC, first-time drunk driving offenders in Texas.

The ABI website explains that "we have supported hundreds of pieces of legislation to apprehend drunk drivers, increase penalties for those convicted, and continue to search for innovative new ways to combat the problem" but also mandates that "Distracted driving -- not alcohol -- is today's biggest problem."

The full list of groups the ABI is targeting is:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Marin Institute
  • American Medical Association
  • National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
  • Join Together
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
  • World Health Organization
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth
  • National Highway Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Going after MADD and the CDC? Now that's a ballsy move that might have some trouble gaining traction.