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Understanding the risks of fake IDs

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP September 15, 2017

Parents never stop worrying about their children. Regardless of how grown our kids are, it is natural and normal to worry about what they are doing — especially when they are off at college. And while we like to think that they are always making the right choice, the truth is that college is also a time when many young adults start to push boundaries and often make mistakes.

Drinking alcohol is almost a rite of passage for many in college. In fact, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, of those asked in a national survey, close to 60 percent of students admitted to drinking at some point in the past month. A significant number also admitted to binge drinking during this same time period.

With all of this drinking going on in college, one has to wonder: Just how are these students under the age of 21 even getting the alcohol?

Fake or false identification to buy alcohol

There are two ways to buy alcohol with identification when you are under 21. The first is to go the route of having a fake ID manufactured. The other way is to use someone else’s actual ID and hope that the person working at the liquor store, the server at the restaurant or bouncer at the bar simply does not notice.

Of course, these options are not fool proof and many college students find themselves getting caught and placed under arrest.

Fake or false ID consequences are severe

If your son or daughter was recently arrested for attempting to use a fake ID, it can be tempting to just chock it up to a one-time mistake and think the entire thing will just blow over, especially if this is their first real run in with the law.

However, the truth is that charges stemming from using a fake ID need to always be taken very seriously. Not only is your son or daughter looking at possible jail time and an expensive fine, but also in some cases, he or she could even end up with a felony on their permanent criminal record. Having a felony on their record will make life substantially harder after college, as a criminal record can prevent them from getting into their dream job.

What should you do?

Take the charges seriously. While this is understandably not something you or your child wants to be dealing with, don’t let frustration, anger or confusion about the legal process stop you from taking action. While now is the time to talk about using better judgment in the future, now is also the time to talk with an attorney to learn more about what options may be available.