On a college campus, the alcohol scene is no secret to anyone, but running the risk of using a fake ID underage can lead to serious consequences.
Traditionally, a history of students borrowing or lending driver’s licenses or ID cards to purchase alcohol or enter bars illegally has been a problem at ISU, Aaron Woodruff, ISU chief of police, said.
“Typically, we come across them while dealing with other issues such as late night check-in issues at the residence halls or during stops for other violations,” Woodruff said.
Additionally, it is illegal for any person to assist in obtaining or to fraudulently obtain, distribute, use or possess a fraudulent state ID card or driver’s license.
The smallest penalty a person can acquire from using a fake ID is the state of Illinois’s discretionary authority to suspend or revoke driving privileges. In different situations, more severe penalties can be administered.
A person can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,500. An action worthy of a Class A misdemeanor includes lending a license or state ID knowingly to someone for his or her use.
A Class 4 felony can be punishable by one to three years imprisonment and fines up to $25,000. Class 4 felony actions include possessing a fraudulent Illinois driver’s license or ID card and possessing equipment to reproduce a government issued ID card or driver’s license.
Each year, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office collects about 600 fake or false IDs. The fake IDs are shredded and the misused IDs are sent to the Secretary of Police for investigation.
“Underage drinking is not healthy,” Dave Druker, a spokesman for the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, said. “The risk of losing your driving license is not worth it and I would strongly urge students not to use fake IDs.”
A variety of factors exist for bar patrons or liquor store attendants to spot fake IDs. Some of these include missing or inappropriate holograms, photos of the wrong person, the wrong color background or conflicting dates.
“Don’t buy a $2,500 six pack,” Woodruff said. “Borrowing, lending, buying or creating a fake ID just to drink alcohol is not worth the risk of losing your driver’s license, paying large fines and having a permanent criminal record.”