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April 2, 2009

State of Illinois to “stick ’em up” during Alcohol Awareness Month

SPRINGFIED – In its ongoing effort to increase public awareness on the dangers of underage drinking and to educate young people, their parents and liquor retailers, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) is partnering with more than one thousand volunteers in a new education program entitled Project Sticker Shock.  At least 50 community organizations, schools, elected leaders and law enforcement officials are out in force today – Sticker Shock Day – posting stickers, window decals, posters, and signs designed to remind communities that providing alcohol to minors is illegal, unhealthy, and unacceptable.

As part of this massive state-wide educational effort, ILCC General Counsel Richard Haymaker joined Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to introducing students at Brother Rice High School to the DUI Prevention and Sticker Shock programs.  In Springfield, ILCC Executive Director Lainie Krozel partnered with Serena Craner, Southeast High School’s Drug Prevention Group Sponsor, and local law enforcement officials to lead more than a dozen Southeast High School students as they visit various Springfield area liquor stores.

“Getting this message out prior to the prom and graduation season can save lives,” says ILCC Executive Director Krozel, noting that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows an elevated rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities at this time of year. “With these grim facts in mind, we are asking all of our liquor licensees to post these materials during the entire month of April as a final reminder of the legal consequences of providing alcohol to minors.”

“Operation Sticker Shock is another great tool to help battle underage drinking in our state.  The goal of the stickers is to help deter kids under 21 from thinking about trying to buy the alcohol.  Even more important is the potential to stop people over 21 from purchasing alcohol for minors,” said Craner, Drug Prevention Coordinator and Teacher at Southeast High School.

“One of the biggest problems that I see is older people buying for younger people.  My uncle used to buy for my cousin and it made her think it was ok to drink.  This led to a drinking problem for her.  This is one of the main reasons I am involved in Drug Prevention, and even more important why I think Sticker Shock is such a great program,” said Kaila Errett a sophomore volunteer from Southeast High School.

"Encouraging distributors, retailers, community leaders, young people and their parents to think about the impact of providing liquor to minors can effectively reduce the damage caused by underage drinking," says ILCC General Counsel Haymaker. “Through this combined effort, all parties are able to recognize their role in dealing with this serious issue.”

“Every Illinois resident can make a difference by obeying the law and not providing alcohol to minors. This is an excellent opportunity to educate communities, young people and their parents,” said ILCC Chairman Irving J. Koppel.  “By working together, we can truly create safer and healthier communities for our youth.”

In addition to the numerous local groups throughout the state are participating in the today’s Sticker Shock Day, the following statewide organizations—from both the industry and prevention fields—have signed on as partners with the Illinois Liquor Control Commission:

• Operation Snowball;
• Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois;
• Wine & Spirits Distributors of Illinois;
• Illinois Retail Merchants Association;
• Illinois Restaurant Association;
• Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association;
• Illinois Licensed Beverage Association;
• Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD);
• Illinois Municipal League;
• Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM);
• Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD);
• Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police;
• Illinois Sheriffs' Association;
• Illinois Drug Education Alliance (IDEA);
• Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association;
• Illinois Food Retailers Association;
• Illinois Association of Convenience Stores.

Materials for Sticker Shock Day were created through the ILCC’s public education arm—the Don’t Be Sorry program—which is partially funded through a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety. For more information about this public awareness campaign and to order the FREE Project Sticker Shock materials, please visit www.DontBeSorry.org.



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