Project warns of underage drinking

SALTILLO – A sheriff, a dinosaur and a teenager walked into a convenience store Saturday.
It sounds like a joke intro, but the trio had a sobering mission as part of a statewide effort to curb underage drinking.
Sheriff Jim Johnson, along with Drugless Douglas the dinosaur, Saltillo Police Chief Steve Brooks and other members of Sober Choices of Lee County, slapped warning stickers on cases of beer at two Saltillo retailers this weekend.
The stickers remind people that it’s illegal to purchase or provide alcohol to minors.

Healthy choices
“Our purpose is to prevent kids and promote healthy choices before the product even gets into their hands, said Johnson at K’s Tobacco and Brew on Highway 145. “I deal too many times with the consequences of bad choices.”
Store owners Nadia and Wayne Piatt said they support the group’s efforts because they don’t sell to beer underage customers and don’t want anyone else to, either.
Sticker-slappers also went to Kilgore’s grocery store, where they distributed magnets and other trinkets to shoppers, too.
Underage drinking is a problem, said group member and 18-year-old Saltillo High School senior Sara Beth Kelley.
“I was blessed to come from a family where I’m held accountable for my actions,” she said. “I know other people who aren’t so lucky, so if we can help just one person with this then it’s worth it.”
Sober Choices is an association of community leaders from various backgrounds who try to prevent teenage drug and alcohol abuse. Saturday’s event, called “Project Sticker Shock,” was held in conjunction with similar efforts across the state, said group member Vicky Lindsay of Region 3 Mental Health.
“We want to get the word out at the community is not tolerant of underage drinking,” Lindsay said.

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal