ETX students, businesses work to prevent underage drinking

ETX students, businesses work to prevent underage drinking
(Source: KLTV NEWS Staff)
(Source: KLTV NEWS Staff)
(Source: KLTV NEWS Staff)

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Several local businesses have teamed up with the East Texas Substance Coalition in an effort to prevent underage drinking.

Restaurants and alcohol retailers in 13 East Texas counties have placed warning stickers on their alcohol coolers, to-go bags and pizza boxes.

The sticker reads "Warning: Providing alcohol to a minor is illegal, with a fine of up to $4,000 and a year in jail."

Businesses participating in the initiative include Walmart, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and local gas stations.

The coalition says the purpose of the week long initiative is to remind adults to think twice about providing alcohol to minors during this weekend's Super Bowl and to encourage parents to talk to their children about the consequences of underage drinking.

"When teens are surveyed about who is the biggest influence on their choice to drink, parents is always number one, says Rebecca Smith, coalition coordinator for the Northeast Texas Coalition Against Substance Abuse. "Adults are providing to teens because they think it's okay, they think as long as they're not driving it's safe, but there's a lot of negative consequences that can happen to teens when they drink underage."

Students from the Smith County Juvenile Probation HOPE program, Cumberland Academy Middle School, Wise Up Rusk County, Bethel youth and members of the Robert E. Lee PTA placed the campaign stickers on over 10,000 to-go bags and pizza boxes.

The stickers also point parents to a website with tips for talking to their kids, www.dontprovideetx.com.

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