POMONA - Jose Martinez and Lorenzo Arnold teamed up to place stickers on six packs of beer in refrigerators at the Pomona Wine Cellar.

As Arnold, a Los Angeles County deputy probation officer, pulled out the beer bottles, Martinez, a Village Academy High School senior, was ready with a sticker that the officer would affix to the carton.

The efforts by Martinez and Arnold were part of Project Sticker Shock. The Partnership for a Positive Pomona campaign is designed to let adults know it's illegal to provide alcoholic beverages to young people under the age of 21.

The red, stop sign-shaped stickers have the message "Providing Alcohol to Minors - It's a Criminal Offense."

"We need a positive image for youth because it's tough right now," Martinez said.

Adults who purchase alcohol for children face a penalty of up to five years informal probation, a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Project Sticker Shock teams visited a dozen Pomona businesses that sell alcohol from late last week 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.

In such circumstances, underage 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."

Community organizations participating in the campaign include youth organizations, the Pomona Unified School District, law enforcement, and those addressing substance abuse.

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 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.


Reach Monica via email, follow her on Twitter @PomonaNow, or call her at 909-483-9336.