Project Sticker Shock shines a light on risks, penalties of underage drinking

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Project Sticker Shock, sponsored by SAFE, Virginia ABC and the Midlothian Rotary Club, is a strategy to shine a light on the dangers of underage drinking.

Participants involved in the strategy visit partnering alcohol retailers and place stickers on cases and coolers of alcohol with a warning message about the penalties for providing alcohol to anyone under 21 and using a fake ID to purchase alcohol.

“It’s just another reminder, it’s a reminder that people that come into the stores shouldn’t purchase it or provide it to underage kids,” said Kelly Mathis with Chesterfield SAFE.

In Virginia, these offenses are Class 1 misdemeanors and are punishable by fines of up to $2500, and/or one year in jail and the loss of their driver’s license for up to a year.

In the 2016 Prevention Needs Assessment Youth Survey, Chesterfield County youths were asked how they received alcohol. The survey found that 46.5 percent of 10th-grade students and 66.6 percent of 12th-grade students stated they received it from someone they know 21 years or older, and 5.9 percent of 10th-grade students and 13.9 percent of 12th-grade students reported they purchased it themselves.

“I think a lot of people around here don’t realize that there are consequences that come with underage drinking,” said Chesterfield student CeeCee Arnold.

As stated by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), underage drinking is a risk factor for heavy drinking later in life and youth who start drinking before age 15 are almost 5 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21.

The teams of youths and adults will be in the community the week of June 26-30 placing stickers at the participating stores.

For more information on Project Sticker Shock, visit here.

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