‘Project Sticker Shock’ aims to curb supply of alcohol to minors

September 8, 2018

Stickers warning about the consequences of providing alcohol to those under 21 are displayed at Giant Eagle in New Kensington on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018.

Beer shoppers at Giant Eagle in New Kensington are in for a case of sticker shock.

It’s not coming from the price, but from big, round, orange stickers warning of the consequences of providing alcohol to anyone under 21.

They were put there by the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission as part of its “Project Sticker Shock” program.

“Providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 is a serious crime,” the stickers read. “The penalty: up to 6 months in jail and $1000 fine.”

Julie Lovis, the commission’s prevention coordinator, said they placed the stickers on the cases in the store’s cooler on Tuesday.

Lovis said the commission’s survey of youth has found that alcohol use is a huge problem in Westmoreland County.

“Where they’re getting it from is family members or friends who buy alcohol for them,” she said. “We try to remind people not to do it.”

The commission has used the stickers around the county for years, Lovis said. They try to do it around the holidays and times of year such as graduation and prom when the risk of underage drinking is high.

In addition to Giant Eagle, the commission also placed stickers at the nearby Myrna’s Brew’ry Outlet. They slapped on about 300 stickers at Giant Eagle, and almost 1,200 at Myrna’s, Lovis said.

She said the commission plans to come back to the New Kensington area with the stickers again around the holidays.

The stickers stand out.

“I think it does have an impact. When you go for that case of beer, you see that information on there,” she said. “It’s not going to stop everybody. It puts it in their head, reminding people there are consequences to supplying alcohol.”

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