Alexandria, VA

Local kids and adults will fan out across Alexandria this weekend to place stickers on packs of beer and other alcoholic beverages, as part of an anti-underage drinking campaign.

The operation, dubbed “Sticker Shock,” involves teams “shocking” would-be alcohol purchasers with stickers that warn of the consequences of buying booze for kids. Teams will be placing the stickers at Giant, Safeway, 7-Eleven, CVS and other grocery and convenience stores across the city on Saturday.

“Research shows that it is easy for youth to obtain alcohol,” the city said in a press release about the operation. “A recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey reported that youth ages 13 and older say it is easy to get alcohol from adults ― sometimes from their own parents who themselves may have drinking problems.”

The full press release is below.

On Saturday, Oct. 19, teams of Alexandria youth and adults will “shock” purchasers of alcohol by placing bright red warning stickers on multi-packs of beer and other alcohol products in local stores.

Sticker Shock is a youth-led initiative designed to educate adults who might purchase alcohol legally and provide it to minors. The stickers contain warnings about the serious penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors.

The Sticker Shock campaign will kick off with a press conference at the City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS), 720 N. St. Asaph St., Alexandria, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19. Speakers include Alexandria Police Department Chief Michael Brown and Alexandria Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Quentin Wade. Following the press conference, teams of youth and adults will travel throughout the city to visit more than 50 participating retailers to affix the warning stickers. Local retailers who are participating in the campaign include Giant Food, Safeway, 7-11, CVS and many other small grocery and convenience stores.

In Virginia, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a punishment of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail, or both. In addition to these penalties, a person found guilty shall have his or her driver’s license suspended.

Research shows that it is easy for youth to obtain alcohol. A recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey reported that youth ages 13 and older say it is easy to get alcohol from adults ― sometimes from their own parents who themselves may have drinking problems. A Developmental Assets Profile indicated 29 percent of high school seniors said they drank alcohol in the past 30 days, with 16 percent reporting that they got drunk once or more in the last two weeks.

Sticker Shock is sponsored by the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA); DCHS; Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities; Alexandria Police Department; Alexandria Sheriff’s Office; and Virginia ABC.

SAPCA is an alliance of more than 80 members representing parents, youth, schools, City of Alexandria health and recreation agencies, media, nonprofits, businesses, faith communities, policymakers and law enforcement whose mission is to engage the entire community in reducing youth substance use and abuse in Alexandria. SAPCA was created in 2007 as part of the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria.

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