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Friday, January 30, 2009

Timberlane teens plaster beer cases with warnings Teens put warning labels on beer

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane teens plaster beer cases with warnings Teens put warning labels on beer
By Margo Sullivan

PLAISTOW — Shoppers may notice a new warning on beer if they purchase a case at Market Basket, Shaw's or Foods Plus along Route 125.

The warning, on a red-and-white sticker, tells buyers to beware and spells out the penalty — a $2,000 fine — for adults who buy alcohol for underage drinkers.

In advance of Super Bowl Sunday, Timberlane High students in the Peer Outreach group — armed with 4,000 stickers — fanned out to several groceries and liquor stores, and covered hundreds of beer displays with the warning labels yesterday.

It was hard work.

After an hour of reaching over store displays and stretching to reach beer cases, Alazandra Johnson, 15, of Plaistow admitted she felt a little tired. She has undertaken these campaigns since seventh grade.

"I like to be a positive influence," she said.

Kimberly Andrade, 16, a junior from Plaistow, worked her way down the aisle with a long roll of labels. After a teacher suggested the Peer Outreach group might be worth a visit, she went to a meeting and decided to join.

"I realized I could relate a lot," she said.

Kimberly said she had friends in trouble because of teenage drinking.

"I didn't want to be like them," she said.

The teens drew a few stares as they went up and down the supermarket aisles, crouching low to fit the stickers on beer cases without covering up the brand name or the barcode.

Shopper Marie Keane of Atkinson was startled at first. But Keane said she likes the idea of labeling beer and believes the warning will make people think twice before they break underage drinking laws.

The labels definitely made a statement, student adviser Tim Lena said.

Underage drinking in the Timberlane Regional School District is mainly an adult problem, he said.

Lena, Timberlane's student assistance program coordinator, based his opinion on student surveys, which show only 4 percent have tried to purchase alcohol at stores. Most of the students who drink illegally have obtained the alcohol at home or paid an adult to buy a bottle for them, he said.

Lena chaperoned the students yesterday, along with other adult supervisors, including Spanish teacher Sherri Allen, who also advises the Peer Outreach group. Also on hand were representatives from law enforcement — Josh Stone, an investigator with the state Liquor Enforcement Bureau, and Plaistow Master Patrolman Joan Marsilia, the school resource officer.

In minutes, the pattern of red-and-white labels changed the appearance of cardboard cases stacked with Samuel Adams Boston Beer, Coors Light, Corona Light, and Heineken.

Timberlane junior Megan Truche, 16, of Sandown said she thinks the labels will help prevent drunken driving.

"I know a lot of people who have been victims," she said.

Ashley Gillan, 17, a senior, also has personal reasons for campaigning against underage drinking.

"It's something I'm passionate about," she said. "I know some people who have gotten into it (drinking), and I've seen the consequences."


Anonymous said...

Good idea. People hate to lose money.

Anonymous said...

Yup, this is the answer to all of our problems! The thing is only the kids putting the labels on will be the ones reading them.

Anonymous said...

The labels aren't for kids to read, they are for the foolish adults that choose to buy for the kids to read! Just a nice little reminder that if they do get caught they will pay a hefty fine. In the big picture it may not sway too many from buying for minors, but the kids that put those labels on the beer cases felt they were doing their part to help keep the beer away from underage drinkers (including, I'm sure, some of their friends/schoolmates).

Anonymous said...

Buying the liquor is half the problem. The other half is the teen accepting it. As the earlier poster replied, it will only help those kids that put the label on the beer as they are more likely to not accept or look for alcohol.