American Beverage Institute

Pull Quote - MADDThe American Beverage Institute protects the interests of on-premise alcoholic beverage retailers like restaurants, bars, and bowling alleys. ABI broadly opposes policies that seek to punish or prevent drunk driving or would make drinking alcohol more costly.

ABI attacks anti-drunk driving activists, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in hyperbolic terms, branding them as “neo-prohibitionists” with a hidden agenda of banning alcohol consumption. Richard Berman, ABI’s founder, has described his own position as “pro-drinking and driving.”

ABI opposes lowering the legal blood alcohol content level for drunk driving and installing ignition interlock systems in the cars of first-time DUI offenders. It frequently complains about police DUI checkpoints on heavy drinking days and other police tactics to combat drunk driving.

Additionally, ABI has also fought smoking bans in restaurants alongside the tobacco industry. In the course of that campaign, Richard Berman attacked the science linking secondhand smoke to health problems.

Founded: 1991

American Beverage Institute Staff:

  • Richard Berman, Director, President, and General Counsel
  • Sarah Longwell, Managing Director
  • Kristen Eastlick, Spokeswoman, Director of Legislative Affairs, and Director of State Affairs
  • Anastasia Swearingen, Media Contact

Past and Present Targets: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, MADD, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alcohol Justice (formerly the Marin Institute), the American Medical Association, National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Join Together, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, the World Health Organization, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest

Active Projects: ABIonline.org, InterlockFacts.com, NegligentDriving.org, NoDrinkTax.com, TheNewProhibition.com, and ResponsibleLimits.com

Past Projects: ResponsibleDrinker.com and Drink-Drive-Responsibly.com

American Beverage Institute by CREW



quick facts

Experts: Nothing Charitable About Berman's Front Groups

Charity Navigator, an independent authority on charitable giving, has issued donor advisories against five Berman front groups:

The advisories note that, unlike most charities, Berman’s groups funnel significant amounts of their funds to a single company, Berman’s for-profit Berman and Company, Inc.

Backers Button


quick facts

Experts: Nothing Charitable About Berman's Front Groups

Charity Navigator, an independent authority on charitable giving, has issued donor advisories against five Berman front groups:

The advisories note that, unlike most charities, Berman’s groups funnel significant amounts of their funds to a single company, Berman’s for-profit Berman and Company, Inc.