Picture this: After a rough week, you head to your favorite liquor store, cold beer on your mind—the only thing on your mind. Cold. Beer. But as you approach the coolers, you notice a group of giddy kids coming between you and them, manhandling the six-packs and putting them back in the cooler. Confused, you watch them walk away empty handed, heading for the door—where they meet up with a cop. The store cashier looks uncomfortable. You brush it off and open the cooler.
What the fuck!? All the beer has been vandalized!
Once the adrenaline ebbs and you can see straight again, you survey the damage: Every can and bottle in the place has been tagged with a sticker that reads: “Providing Alcohol to Minors is ILLEGAL. 4th Degree Felony. 18 Months in Jail. $5000 Fine. MADD’s Youth in Action.”
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) strikes again. Meet Youth in Action (YIA), MADD’s army of goody-two-shoes fascist teen narcs who have been “empowered” to conduct “sticker shock” campaigns at liquor stores near you. Sticker sightings are becoming more and more widespread, as retailers and consumers look on helplessly.
From youthinaction.org: “Sticker Shock. YIA teams meet with local retailers that sell alcohol and ask permission to place warning stickers on the packaging of alcohol products (primarily beer). The stickers are very visible and warn of the consequences of purchasing alcohol for people under the age of 21. This project is designed to remind adults that they can be arrested for purchasing alcohol for minors.”
Shocked? No, we’re pissed off! This is wrong on so many levels! First, while we agree that selling alcohol to minors is not cool, these sticker shock campaigns are outright acts of vandalism. Who cares if the storeowner gave permission? Who cares if these neo-prohibitionists are accompanied by an adult? Who cares if the adult’s a cop? Their little stunt is still illegal: Brewers must get approval from federal agencies for all packaging, including labels. Not only do these stickers alter the packaging, but sloppy placement could cover crucial information that, by law, must be visible to consumers.
And what about that cop? C’mon, with a cop backing these kids up, it’s no wonder that storeowners are consenting. And why “primarily beer“? Show us stats proving that kids are more likely to be hitting up adults for beer than for spirits. And why sticker all the beer in stock? Why not restrict it to the brands most popular with teen drunks? And why do we, the adult consumers, need to be “reminded” that purchasing beer for minors is illegal in the first place? Who said we forgot? Who decided this crap should be shoved in our faces? The YIA site says: “YIA teams look for community solutions instead of focusing their attention on their peers”—but isn’t that exactly where the primary focus should be?
Loads of questions, but no answers. The MADD/YIA website yields only a slew of anti-alcohol propaganda that pressures kids to intimidate, harass and narc on adults.
OK, ranting about stickers might sound petty, but tolerating tactics like this will no doubt encourage YIA and similar groups to employ far more aggressive tactics in support of MADD’s neo-prohibitionist agenda.
So we’re challenging all true beer lovers to refuse to buy any product that has been vandalized by YIA, and to tell shop owners you’ll be boycotting their establishments until they get their beer from under MADD’s thumb—literally.
And we’re not alone—Candy Lightner, the founder of MADD herself, is madd, too:
“It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I ever wanted or envisioned. I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving.”