Attending parties and other social events are undeniable parts of the college experience. They’re one of the best places to meet new people and unwind from a long week spent studying. But with these parties and social events often comes large quantities of alcohol. This news isn’t new, nor is this article meant to dissuade you from drinking. However, it should make you rethink buying that case of beer while your underage, especially if you plan on using a fake ID.
Over the past few decades, drivers licenses have gone through quite a lot of changes. In an effort to help prevent against forgery and counterfeiting, states all across the country have added security features and intricate designs to their IDs. And most recently, the REAL ID Act, which has gradually been implemented over the past 15 years, is now fully in motion. Residents in states that are compliance with the REAL ID Act have until October 1, 2020, to receive their new identification card.
However for some, when there’s a will, there’s a way and through each in every change, people have found ways to replicate them for illegal use.
For underage youths, fake IDs mainly have two main purposes. Either you’re attempting to buy booze or tobacco from a store or you’re trying to get into a club, bar, or venue. And as it turns out, both have high failure rates. Despite the potential for getting caught, we all know someone who has used a fake ID. And while we all know the benefits of having one, odds are you’re not as well-versed when it comes to the consequences. In fact, did you know you don’t even have to use a fake ID for it to land you in jail? That’s right, just having one in your wallet is highly illegal. So no matter what you plan to use it for, you may be interested to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and what could happen if you get caught.
Spoiler alert – the consequences are definitely not worth the risk. And in most cases, you’re actually committing two crimes at the same time. First, you’re attempting to illegally purchase alcohol. On top of that, by possessing the ID you’re actually committing forgery and fraud. In Georgia, just having the fake ID in your possession can result in a $1,000 fine and probation. For using it though, you can face even bigger consequences. If you attempt to use a fake ID and get caught in the process, you could be arrested and face up to 12 months in prison.
Depending on what state you’re in when you’re caught and the circumstances, you could face both felony or misdemeanor charges. For example, if attempting to use a fake ID to purchase a firearm, you will almost certainly be charged with a felony offense. If you’re over 18 and you’re caught using a fake ID for any intended purpose, you run the risk of the charge being added to your permanent record, which could threaten future employment and school opportunities. You also have the potential to lose your actual license, which could revoke your driving privileges for an indefinite period.
The list of potential charges and consequences doesn’t end there, but these alone should be reason enough not to use a fake ID. Sure the social events are fun, but it’s worth waiting until you’re of legal age.