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The teens’ campaign to keep alcohol out of the hands of kids led to ‘Sticker Shock’

Eber Garcia, a student at Kerman High who is a member of the Youth Leadership Institute chapter of Fresno, works alongside other teens to put stickers on alcohol products to promote awareness of underage drinking at the southeast Fresno Foods Co store on Oct. 28.
Eber Garcia, a student at Kerman High who is a member of the Youth Leadership Institute chapter of Fresno, works alongside other teens to put stickers on alcohol products to promote awareness of underage drinking at the southeast Fresno Foods Co store on Oct. 28. jjohnson@fresnobee.com

Youth leaders of Fresno raised awareness about underage drinking Saturday morning by placing stickers on alcohol products at community markets in celebration of “National Red Ribbon Week.”

At the Foods Co store at 4838 E. Kings Canyon Road in southeast Fresno, the Youth Leadership Institute of Fresno County and Fresno County Friday Night Live launched “Sticker Shock 2017.” The campaign involves placing stickers on alcohol products to highlight the need to prevent underage drinking and the illegal accessibility that children and teens have to alcohol.

The yellow, octagon-shaped sticker says “It is against the law to supply minors alcohol.”

“I don’t want to see other youths getting into accidents,” said Eber Garcia, 15, of Kerman High, a member of the Youth Leadership Institute. He said he got involved with the leadership program when he saw a few friends who were active in helping their community, and he wanted to do the same.

Cynthia Rocha, program manager of Friday Night Live, said the campaign’s goals are to reduce underage drinking and increase awareness of the damage it can lead to in communities where adults provide minors with alcohol.

“Specifically, what we want to do is increase the onset drinking age because there is data that the onset drinking age in Fresno County was as low as 9,” Rocha said. She added that the state’s average onset drinking age is 11.

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The “Sticker Shock 2017” campaign is intended to highlight the need to prevent underage drinking and the illegal accessibility that children and teens have to alcohol. JESSICA JOHNSON jjohnson@fresnobee.com

In 2007, the city of Fresno passed the “Social Host Ordinance,” which fines adults who supply minors with alcohol beverages in their home up to $1,000 for each underage person consuming such drinks.

The stickers placed on alcohol products won’t block the branding. You can expect to see them on products in stores throughout Fresno, Kerman, Selma, Clovis, Orange Cove and Reedley within the next three weeks.

According to a survey conducted by the Youth Leadership Institute and California Health Collaborative, 70 percent of young people obtain alcohol from adults they know. The survey also showed 37 percent get alcohol from adult family members.

Rocha said the survey was conducted earlier this year throughout schools in the county, and more than 6,000 young people responded to it.

“It’s a pretty good indicator of what’s going on across the county,” she said.

Adults bear some responsibility for reducing underage drinking because young people sometimes make poor choices. “It’s equally as important to educate adults about making sure that they’re not an access point,” Rocha said.

Jessica Johnson: 559-441-6051, @iamjesslj

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