Be A Jerk


why be a jerkWho you calling a jerk? What's the big deal? Why should I care? What can I do? All good questions.

To help, we've gathered some of the most common questions. We've also provided links to additional FAQs. If your question isn't answered, please contact us.

Be a Jerk

What is the "Be A Jerk" movement?
A: Be A Jerk is a hui of adults who realize that underage drinking is not just a youth problem, but one the whole community needs to address together. We're parents, relatives, friends, business people, bartenders and more - all working together to prevent underage drinking and make our community safer.

How is Be A Jerk different from other underage drinking campaigns?
A: Instead of trying to change the behavior of individual young people, Be A Jerk focuses on changing the environment around youth by reducing their access to alcohol, decreasing their exposure to alcohol marketing and changing how we all think about underage drinking.

Why is changing the environment around young people important?
A: Studies show that a community working together to change the environment around young people significantly and favorably affects their behavior. Plus, when communities changed their environments they found that alcohol retailers increased ID checks and reduced sales to minors; teens were less likely to try and buy alcohol, to frequent bars and to provide alcohol to other teens; and DUI arrests declined substantially.

What are some ways Be A Jerk is reducing underage drinking?
A: Be a Jerk community members are working together to reduce:

  • the number of outlets that sell alcohol to young people.
  • the number of alcohol advertisements, especially at outlets, that entice youth to drinking.
  • the availability of alcohol from individuals such as parents, aunties and uncles, siblings, and friends.
  • the community's tolerance for underage drinking by changing how we think about underage drinking so that it isn't thought of as normal, glamorous or acceptable.

Is it hard to get involved?
A: No, being a jerk can be as simple as recognizing and changing a few small things. Whether you're a concerned citizen or you're part of an organized group, you can take action. Just a few ways include:

  • Define and enforce your family rules about underage drinking.
  • Keep alcohol in your home or at your parties safe guarded from young people.
  • Look around and take notice of how alcohol is portrayed to the young people in your neighborhood. Are store windows covered in alcohol ads? Is the beer aisle next to the snack, toy or candy aisle? If so, ask the store manager if they would be willing to move alcohol and alcohol ads so they aren't positioned near where young people gather.
  • Work with community groups to help clean up and provide lights to neighborhood areas where youth are known to hang out.
  • Ask local stores and bars to tighten their ID checks for minors.

Who can Be A Jerk?
A: Everyone in our community is invited to Be A Jerk. We encourage collaborations between parents, community leaders, alcohol vendors, public officials, law enforcement agencies, the media, schools, and other community groups. Join us.

More FAQs

Why is underage drinking bad?

How can I be a jerk?

What's the law?