“…it has become clear, that during adolescence…the brain is highly plastic and shaped by experience…Alcohol appears to interfere with the changes in circuitry that occur during learning.” –Dr. Aaron White, Duke University. Keep up to date with local and nationwide coverage of the underage drinking epidemic.
Minors often aren’t aware of the consequences of using bogus identification.
Fake IDs are most commonly used by teens to get into a bar or buy beer or cigarettes, not to get around pawn laws.
But many kids don’t know being caught could bring hefty fines, criminal charges and even jail time.
A user could get a $1,000 fine and face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the offense.
“Something people don't realize is even if you are carrying an ID that makes you over 21 when in fact you are under 21, that right there is a $150 fine,” Boise police officer Jermaine Galloway said.
Galloway is the Boise State University community policing officer, specializing in alcohol enforcement, education, underage drinking, fake IDs and retail sales to minors.
False identification in Boise is more common than many people think.
An average of 50 to 100 IDs are collected in a month. Galloway, who has spent five years investigating fake IDs, believes that’s just a fraction of the IDs out there.
“Many of the bars see so many IDs they get really good at spotting fakes. Officers might see 10 a day, bars see 300 to 400 — more than anyone,” Galloway said.
SPOTTING A FAKE
Fake IDs often are spotted during traffic stops.
Most aren’t really fake — they’re actually real driver’s licenses issued to other people, such as a teen’s older sibling or friend.
Boise police plan to increase training, enforcement and patrolling to crack down on fake ID use.
There are consequences to using fake IDs.
“When I hear the officers talk about investigating or confiscating fake IDs, I think of the car crashes and other accidents that have happened because a teen was under the influence of alcohol,” Boise police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said. “Those accidents have lifelong impacts on the families involved. It’s just terribly sad because the injuries — or worse — might not have happened if that teen hadn’t had access to alcohol.”
Minors who order IDs online are sending risky personal information to an unknown location. Ordering an ID or lending a license can lead to identity theft.
“When you give your ID to someone else, you are giving up personal information to someone ... who can use it to do silly things, and that can be very dangerous,” Galloway said.