Local News

Fake IDs Stoke Underage Drinking Problem

Posted March 9, 2007

— Last year, almost a third of the 500 people state Alcohol Law Enforcement agents charged with trying to buy alcohol with fake identification were in the Triangle.

ALE officials said fake IDs, such as one used to buy liquor for a January underage drinking party attended by Wakefield High School students, are a constant problem.

Four Wakefield High students were charged Friday with underage drinking and a fifth was charged with using someone else's ID to purchase alcohol for the party. Sadiki Young, an 18-year-old Wakefield student, was killed in a wreck after leaving the party.

"I've heard of people making (fake IDs) on their computer in their dorm rooms," said Meghan Packer, a broadcasting major at Elon University who did a report on fake IDs. "They just didn't really seem too worried, and that's what surprised me was this fearless attitude they had about using them."

"My student who have been exploring this issue tell me that fake IDs -- a good fake ID -- can be obtained for about $75," said Richard Landesberg, a communications professor at Elon.

Trying to buy alcohol with a fake ID is a misdemeanor, while anyone caught making fake IDs faces a felony charge.

ALE agent Bill Berryhill said improved technology makes it easier to produce fake IDs and harder to spot them.

"What they'll do is laminate everything over the driver's license," Berryhill said. "You (can) peel the lamination back and see where they have erased the original birthdate and typed a new birthdate over the lamination."

Waiter Dave Deem said he prides himself on being able to spot a phony ID from someone ordering a beer or a drink in his bar.

"I do take a little bit of pleasure in it," Deem said, noting he has snagged 40 fakes since October. "You have to know what to look for."

8 Comments

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  • boingc Mar 12, 10:49 a.m.

    The drinking age in most European countries is 16. That way, parents can teach their children how to drink responsibly before they leave the home. Unlike here, where we send ours off to college to revel in their newfound freedom and lack of accountability. Oh, and guess what--most of Europe does not have such a problem with binge drinking and DUIs.

  • sasuke Mar 12, 8:27 a.m.

    i agree with bissette, and homey. i never personally used a fake, but up until i turned 21 i knew people who could get me alcohol whenever i wanted. i say expose us to alcohol in small, responsible doses at an earlier age so we are more responsible about it when we are older, and in situations such as college parties.

  • Tarheeljunior Mar 11, 9:57 p.m.

    There are so many people today that are mature enough to handle the responsibilty of drinking at 18, but there are enough that cannot that the drinking age has to take a "better safe than sorry" approach. As a college student, I have seen fake IDs and 18 year olds out of control the second they are exposed to alcohol. With more and more high school students dying because of alcohol, lowering the drinking age will only make it easier for them to forge IDs and obtain alcohol. Sad reality, but in our immature society, its true. American youth for the most part just can't handle the responsibilty of making smart decisions about drinking.

  • green_eyes Mar 10, 4:10 p.m.

    theres always been fake id's used to obtain alcohol. the age should be 18..its old enough to serve our country but not old enough to drink.

  • jmr Mar 10, 11:03 a.m.

    Not just the "MEXICANS"

  • homeydontplaydat Mar 10, 10:45 a.m.

    Agree brand.....however....life is full of decisions.....some are made with well coached parental mentoring.....some are made in haste. I have been a drinker for some time now....used the same fake ID from 18-21....never got questioned...EVER. It really all comes down to how much $ the government wants to spend on the enforcement of some of these things.

  • brand7976 Mar 10, 9:55 a.m.

    Drinking age should be 18. ALE officers also engage in some very shady practices.

  • luvtoflymycessna Mar 10, 8:24 a.m.

    A small portable blacklight will help with the detectionof fake ID's--I used when when working the door at a club downtown. It picks up on the discrepancies on a fake ID--also any one who alters an ID can face a misdemeanor charge--I have seen people scratch the birthdate off--its a 2 digit month and date--not a 1 number month