POMONA - Village Academy High School senior Jose Martinez and Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officer Lorenzo Arnold teamed up late last week to place important stickers on six packs kept in the Pomona Wine Cellar's refrigerators.

As Arnold pulled out the beer bottles Martinez was at the ready with a sticker the officer would affix to the carton.

Martinez and Arnold are just a few of the teens and adults taking part in Project Sticker Shock, a campaign of Partnership for a Positive Pomona designed to let adults know it's illegal to provide alcoholic beverages to youth under the age of 21.

Adult must play an active role in sending a message to teens that they should not engage in under age drinking, the teen said.

"We need a positive image for youth because it's tough right now," Martinez said as he peeled off red, stop sign-shaped stickers with the message "Providing Alcohol to Minors - It's a Criminal Offense."

The offense, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, comes with a penalty of up to 5 years informal the probation, a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Project Sticker Shock teams began visiting a dozen Pomona businesses that sell alcohol last week and will continue through Wednesday in preparation for Super Bowl Sunday, said Sara Cooley, project coordinator with the Partnership.

The focus on alcohol comes from data collected from Pomona youth who have said alcohol is easy to access, Cooley said.


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Sometimes alcohol can be obtained at family gatherings or celebrations where adults are around, youth have said.

In such circumstances under-age drinking "is not a teen problem, it's a community problem," Cooley said. The campaign is "reminding (adults) they have a responsibility for the well-being of the household."

Multiple community organizations including youth organizations, the Pomona Unified School District, law enforcement, and those addressing substance abuse are among those taking part in the campaign.

Robin and Nazih Khaddour, owners of Pomona Wine Cellar, welcomed the teams stickering their merchandise.

The Khaddours and their employees make sure they are not selling alcohol to minors but they say more needs to be done to support the campaign.

"Pomona needs good people like that so kids don't start going in a bad direction," Nazih Khaddour said.

Pomona police Sgt. Vince Terrell said he thinks the campaign will have a positive effect particularly on adults who may not realize it's illegal for youth under 21 to consume alcohol and those who may be be approached by a teen outside a store asking they make a purchase for them.

"They'll see the sticker, probably look at the signs and all of a sudden they're not going to risk freedom for jail time, fines and fees," Terrell said.

monica.rodriguez@inlandnewspapers.com

909-483-9336