For the second year in a row, the North Coastal Prevention Youth Coalition (NCPYC), a group of alcohol and drug prevention teen leaders, are using the Youth Voice Project to send a strong message to adults in their community, encouraging customers in local stores and markets to do their part to prevent underage drinking by never selling alcohol to minors. The goal of the Youth Voice Project is to increase community awareness of the risks of underage drinking, and remind adult customers that allowing underage drinking is not only against the law, it also leads to many negative consequences.

NCPYC members created different signs using their own pictures and messages that have been placed in store aisles; the theme for this year’s project is, “It’ll Cost You.” Signs include messages in English and Spanish. Youth members recruited about a dozen stores and markets throughout Vista and Oceanside that are allowing them to post these signs with prevention messages. The youth posted the signs in local stores on Wednesday, October 26, 2011, starting at the Red and White Market at 510 Vista Way, Oceanside, California.

All of the San Diego North County communities including Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and Carlsbad, have adopted Social Host Ordinances, often called “house party laws.” These laws can impose cost-recovery fees for the law enforcement and emergency services responding to underage drinking parties, and can fine and/or incarcerate the host. According to the 2009 California Healthy Kids Survey, alcohol is the most abused drug by youth: 15% of 7th graders and 33% of 11th graders in the Tri-City area report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.