Friday, August 24, 2012
Stickers warn adultsto adhere to the law
Some area students are doing their part to combat underage drinking by participating in Project Sticker Shock, an initiative created by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to deter adults from purchasing alcoholic beverages for young people under the legal drinking age.
Members of Franklin County High School's CHILL Youth Task Force entered the Kroger store in Westlake and Rocky Mount on Aug. 16, as well as eight other Franklin County retailers, and placed bright red stickers shaped like traffic stop signs on packages of beer and wine coolers, detailing the consequences of providing alcohol to minors.
Adults convicted of the crime can expect fines up to $2,500, and/or a one-year jail sentence and the loss of a driver's license for up to one year.
The Sticker Shock program was started statewide in 2003 to coincide with Virginia ABC's Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking. According to Carol Mawyer of ABC, about 250 alcohol licensees across the state are stickered annually.
"It's one of our most successful efforts," she said.
This will be the second year that Sticker Shock has been organized in Franklin County by Piedmont Community Services.
"This year, we hope to have a greater impact," said Morgan McCarty, Piedmont Community Services prevention specialist.
Piedmont Community Services also is a supporter of CHILL, a program in its second year at Franklin County High School. McCarty said the purpose of the organization, which stands for Communities Helping Improve Local Lives, is to help students influence other students to make positive choices.
"They're very excited. It really makes a difference that local law enforcement are involved in the program. They can build a relationship with them in a good way and not a bad way," said McCarty.
In addition to its outreach efforts through CHILL, Piedmont Community Services presented a "Youth Risk Behavior Survey" this year to a sampling of Benjamin Franklin Middle and Franklin County High school students,inquiring about drug and alcohol abuse, as well as gang and sexual behaviors. Morgan said the information gathered from the survey, which has not been released yet, can be beneficial to other agencies.
"Our goal is to be proactive instead of reactive," she said.