Using fake IDs not worth the risk

By Christina Flood
April 25, 2010

Most college kids are not of the legal drinking age, yet each weekend students of all ages head out to party and hit up the bars for a night of drinking. Drinking on campus with all of your underage friends gets old pretty quickly and therefore many take the fake ID route.

Going out to the bar with friends is a big part of college life that most students are excited to experience.  Yet waiting two or three years to participate in this does not appeal to most college students.

It is for obvious and understandable reasons that so many college students purchase fake IDs.  Waiting until the age of 21 to be able to go out to the bar and have a good time with your friends can seem like an eternity.

Nightlife differs from college to college and sometimes there are limited options at schools other than going to the bar.

Colleges that are closer to the city many times depend on the bar for the main form of nightlife. Students at St. Joe’s University in Philadelphia could easily be tempted by the bar scene in Manayunk and Old City.

Many college students may not be aware of the consequences that they could be faced with if they were to be caught with a fake ID.

Some states consider owning fake identification to be a misdemeanor and other states consider it to be a felony, in which jail time will always result.

For first-time offenders in Pennsylvania, the law is that they are to be fined $300 and can have their license suspended for 90 days.  Community service is often required with a first offense as well.

For subsequent offenders, a hefty fine of $500 is issued along with license suspension and possible jail time.

Although these fines are substantial, it is more likely that bouncers will simply turn you away or just take your fake identification.  Since there is no legal requirement, it’s the decision of each individual bar to do what it best for them.

Sometimes bars give bouncers money for each fake identification that they confiscate as an incentive to turn away underage students.

The point that has often been argued by many people who are underage and of age is that changing the legal drinking age to 18 will help to lower the number of students who purchase fake IDs.

Although this would be ideal for all college students, risking getting a fine in order to have a good time seems to be as good as it’s going to get for now.

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Christina Flood

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