Customers picking up a six-pack of beer in the Lancaster-Depew area soon will be getting a message about underage drinking.
Unlike other messages aimed at teenagers, this one is targeted to adults who might provide alcohol to minors.
It's called Project Sticker Shock. Small, red, stop sign-shaped stickers will be placed on beer and wine cooler packages around the holiday season, warning that an adult purchasing or providing alcohol to minors could be subject to fines up to $1,000 or a year in jail.
"If parents really knew there were serious consequences, hopefully they would stop and say, 'This could happen to me,' " said John Trojanowsky, executive director of the Lancaster Youth Bureau.
The initiative has broad support from town, village and school leaders and local county legislators, and is a project of the Lancaster-Depew Substance Abuse Coalition.
"We knew we needed to get support from our local officials," Trojanowsky said.
The Tops Markets at 6363 Transit Road and at the D&L Plaza already have embraced the project.
"When this came in the mail, we thought it would be a good thing to do," said Mike Shanahan, manager of the D&L Tops on Broadway. "It was the right thing to do."
Grocery stores have stringent programs to prevent those under 21 from purchasing alcohol, and the stickers take that to the next level.
The coalition wants to place stickers in the stores around the holidays, and again in the spring during prom and graduation season.
Depew School Superintendent Kimberly A. Mueller said it's no secret that school districts have been dealing with alcohol issues.
"As a school district, we continue to try and do our part and everything possible to link home, school and community together," she said.