'Prom Sticker Shock' aims to prevent underage drinking during prom season

Posted Apr 25, 12:00 PM

By Brianne Twiddy | btwiddy@mlive.com

JACKSON, MI -- It’s prom season and retailers are dressing their alcohol packages with warning stickers in an effort to reduce underage drinking.

Most Teens Don’t Ambassadors and Drug Free Jackson are partnering with 18 vendors throughout Jackson County for Prom Sticker Shock, an initiative emphasizing the consequences for adults who purchase alcohol for a minor, according to a news release.

Alcohol is the most popular drug among teenagers and usage increases during prom season, according to a Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth survey. About 57 percent of respondents said it’s easy to get alcohol and 41 percent reported receiving alcohol from someone else, the survey said.

Students are putting lime-green stickers on alcohol products at participating retailer’s, Most Teens Don’t Coordinator Emma Sigman said. The stickers and surrounding posters are meant to “shock” adults into remembering the risks of selling or serving alcohol to a minor, she said.

“Most people know it’s illegal to sell to minors, but data shows most students still get it from other people’s homes,” Sigman said. “This is a gentle reminder of the consequences for people who provide it.”

People charged with selling alcohol to a person younger than 21 years old can receive a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and three months in jail, she said.

Participating schools are Columbia Central Junior High School, Grass Lake Middle School, Middle School at Parkside, Vandercook Lake Middle School and Western High School.

Participating retailers are near the schools, Sigman said. The program ends Friday, May 3.

Most Teens Don’t began in 2009 and has approximately 250 participating students in 10 Jackson County schools. Those interested in learning more about the group or Prom Sticker Shock can contact Sigman at 517-230-4690.

Emma Sigman