Lawrence high schoolers hope ‘sticker shock’ discourages providing alcohol to minors

High school students in Lawrence will place stickers that detail penalties for providing alcohol to minors on packs of beer and other alcoholic beverages Saturday at some Lawrence stores.

The Lawrence Youth Coalition and FYI Club will participate in “Sticker Shock Lawrence,” which is aimed at reducing underage drinking by limiting youth access to alcohol. The stickers warn that furnishing alcohol to a minor could carry up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail.

“It is important to remember that we all have a social responsibility to do the right thing,” Lawrence Police Chief Tarik Khatib said in a news release. “Providing alcohol to minors or allowing them a place to drink under your control is not only illegal; it sends the message that breaking the law is acceptable. Both may lead to tragic consequences.”

According to the 2010 Communities That Care Survey, 44 percent of high school students in Lawrence reported drinking alcohol once in the previous month, and 30 percent said someone 21 or older bought or gave them alcohol.

Several businesses will participate on Saturday — Alvin’s Wines & Spirits, at both 4000 W. Sixth St. and 905 Iowa; Checkers Foods, 2300 La.; Cork and Barrel, 2000 W. 23rd St. and 901 Miss.; Glass House Liquor, 2301 Wakarusa Drive; all five Kwik Shop stores; Mass Beverage, 3131 Nieder Road; On the Rocks, 1818 Mass.; Parkway Wine and Spirits, 3514 Clinton Parkway; Sawyers, 4811 Bob Billings Parkway; and University Liquor, 3300 Bob Billings Parkway.

The youth-led event is sponsored by the New Tradition Coalition, and it’s aimed at bringing awareness to underage drinking, especially with prom and graduation season approaching.

Brandi Munoz, New Tradition Coalition coordinator, said the youth coalition members contacted every store in Lawrence that sells beer or alcohol asking them to participate.

“Since this is the first year, hopefully we’ll have more when we do it again next year,” Munoz said.

A five-year grant from the Drug Free Communities program directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control is funding the project in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.