Did you know that alcohol is the most widely abused substance among youth in the United States? Underage drinking is dangerous because it negatively impacts brain development and increases the risk of physical and sexual assault, legal problems, other drug abuse, heavy drinking later in life, and suicide and homicide. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the majority of underage drinkers (72%) did not pay for alcohol the last time they drank and the most common source of alcohol (23%) for these youth was an unrelated person aged 21 or older. Giving alcohol to youth is considered social providing. Underage drinkers may also purchase the alcohol themselves with the use of a fake ID. In Virginia, these offenses are Class 1 misdemeanors and are punishable by fines of up to $2,500, and/or 12 months in jail and loss of driver's license for up to one year.
Project Sticker Shock aims to prevent underage youth from obtaining alcohol from adults 21 or older or using a fake ID to purchase alcohol by raising community awareness about Virginia laws. During an event, participants place stickers and window clings that warn about the legal consequences for providing alcohol to underage youth and using a fake ID to purchase alcohol on cases and coolers of alcohol at local retailers. This program encourages partnership between community organizations, youth, retail establishments, law enforcement, media, and other community members. We provide a free online training and event supplies for all coordinators planning to hold a Project Sticker Shock event. Follow the three steps below to hold your own event!