You may be wondering what it is all about. The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition and youth from the local Youth Leadership Council teamed up for Alcohol Awareness Month to remind adults that it is illegal to purchase or provide alcohol to minors. The goal of this youth-led initiative is to change adult attitudes about selling and providing alcohol to minors.
The students spent two days visiting each business in the county which sells carry-out alcohol to patrons. They placed bright red stop sign cooler clings, posters and stickers on beer products in the stores to remind adults “It is illegal to purchase or provide alcohol to minors.”
“Adults need to set a better example for kids,” said one youth member. “When adults supply alcohol to youth it sends us a very mixed message. Underage drinking is not a teen problem, but a community problem. Adults, youth, law enforcement, and retail stores all need to be part of the solution.”
Van Buren County SAFE Coalition recognizes the following stores for their desire to manage the sale of alcohol responsibly: Boyd’s Grocery, Casey’s, Circle B, Douds Kwik Stop, Jet Stop – Birmingham, Bonaparte and Milton, H&K Pony Express and Moore’s Grocery. “A strong community message is sent when a business like this takes responsibility for speaking out against underage drinking,” said Heidi Bainbridge, Van Buren County SAFE Coalition coordinator.
Alcohol has been identified as the number one drug of choice among youth, and according to local youth, one of the easiest substances to obtain. The Sticker Shock campaign hopes to cause adults to think twice before making it any easier for youth to access alcohol.