Monday foot traffic into Buz’s Valpo Liquors revealed that there was quite a bit of activity over the weekend inside the store. Stacks of cases of beer were covered with bright green stickers that had been placed on each box by Wheeler High School students promoting the Sticker Shock project.
The students were accompanied by Guidance Counselor Mike Rosta, Coroner Chuck Harris, Porter County Sheriff‘s Officer Jamie Erow, and Officer Tim Beach, all members of the Porter County Substance Abuse Council. The coalition youth sector has been working together to organize and implement this program for the past couple of months.
Program Manager, Dawn Pelc said, “The stickers are a great visual and a very impactful strategy to reaffirm that purchasing alcohol for minors is illegal.”
The students were able to place over 200 stickers on cases of beer that warn adults to think twice about providing alcohol to minors and the consequences for doing so. Data collected by the Council indicate that 11% of high school seniors are reporting that they are getting their alcohol from someone 21 or over.
In addition, the number one problem in the county, according to the ATOD report is underage drinking. Sticker Shock addresses underage drinking by clearly stating that the penalty for purchasing alcohol for minors is up to $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail. Earlier in the day, another group of students converged on Strack and Van Til’s on Morthland in Valparaiso to bring the total number of stickers to 576 to create community awareness.
“In a few months we have proms and graduation celebrations coming up and we want to make sure parents know that social hosting laws apply,” said Officer Tim Beach. Serving alcohol to minors is not going to be tolerated,” added Beach.
The Porter County Substance Abuse Council supports the Sticker Shock program as a continuous program implemented through the DFC grant encouraging youth to create awareness among their peers and parents. Retailers, please contact Dawn Pelc at 219-462-0946 to reserve a day to participate in this very worthwhile program.
Pictured: Strack & Van Til representatives Chris Bengtson, Josh Piech and Coroner Chuck Harris