LEWISTON – Project Sticker Shock, a youth-led initiative, was a success in the Lewiston-Auburn area. Youth from Lewiston, Lisbon, Poland and Turner participated as part of a movement of youth statewide, working with participating stores to spread “Sticker Shock” waves across Lewiston and Auburn in an effort to reach adult who might be tempted to buy alcohol for youth under 21 who can’t buy legally themselves.

The fluorescent orange-and-black stickers stand out on the beer and alcopop six-packs and cases and give the reminder that “Providing Alcohol to Minors is Illegal! Fines are up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.”

“Adults need to set a better example for kids,” said Jamie Kay Hodgkin, Leavitt Area High School Youth 2 Youth group 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.”

Project Sticker Shock is sponsored by the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and funded by a federal grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The Sticker Shock campaign was first introduced in Maine in February of 2001 by youth in Fort Kent area who designed the stickers and posters that are being used in the local and statewide campaign.

Healthy Androscoggin’s Project Unite! recognized Elizabeth Ann for its desire to manage the sales of alcohol responsibly and wanted to showcase the business as a partner in the effort.

Jason Moen, Auburn PD, Rob Ullrich, Lewiston PD, and Jason St. Pierre, Lisbon PD, along with employees from Elizabeth Ann, participated in the kickoff event as youth applied the stickers.

“A strong community message is sent when a business like Elizabeth Ann takes responsibility for speaking our against underage drinking,” said Vicky Weigman, Youth 2 Youth leader at Lewiston High School.

Rob Ullrich, alcohol enforcement team leader for the Lewiston PD, said “Allowing minors to consume alcohol in your home, or any place under your control, carries the same penalties under the law as furnishing, even if you don’t supply the alcohol.”

Maine Youth Voices from Poland Regional High School and Youth 2 Youth groups from Lewiston High School and Leavitt High School, Students Against Destructive Decisions group from Lisbon High School and other participating retail stores, Shaw’s in Lewiston, Hannaford in Auburn, Auburn Center Street stores, Irving, Big Apple, Mobil, Cumberland Farms, J & S Oil and Shaw, joined efforts to create a safer, healthier community lifestyle by combating the problem of underage drinking.

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