NORWALK, Conn., Dec. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Diageo, the world's leading distilled spirits, beer and wine company, today declared 2011 a milestone year for progress in the reduction of drunk driving and underage drinking. Recent reports released this month by highly respected independent and government organizations demonstrate the serious progress that can be made when public and private stakeholders work together for a common cause. "This year's data demonstrates that consistently adhering to the highest standards of responsible marketing, supporting innovative programs aimed at preventing underage access and working with a broad array of partners across the country makes a tangible difference in reducing drunk driving and underage drinking," said Guy L. Smith, Executive Vice President, Diageo. "For the past decade serious and dedicated people within law enforcement, government at all levels, the scientific and academic communities, education at all levels, the alcohol policy community and the alcohol industry – beer, wine, and spirits – have been making concerted efforts alongside thoughtful and engaged parents towards reducing underage alcohol access and drunk driving. Clearly these efforts are producing positive results," Smith continued. Earlier this month, Monitoring the Future (MTF), a highly respected annual study by the University of Michigan funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, released figures showing that underage drinking rates for 8th, 10th and 12th graders are at historic lows, and their lowest points since MTF was first conducted in 1975. In addition, the study showed significant decreases in alcohol use among nearly all grades across all prevalence periods, including binge drinking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced alcohol-impaired driving fatalities are at an historic low, despite the increase in miles driven. Since 1982 when recordkeeping began, the number of deaths has been cut by more than half and by nearly five percent in the last year alone.