Arizona authorities cracking down on fake IDs

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Authorities are cracking down on fake IDs. By Andrew Michalscheck Authorities are cracking down on fake IDs. By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Talk to any group of teens or college students and many will tell you getting a fake ID to buy alcohol or get into a bar is a top priority.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people aged 12 to 20 drink 11-percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States.           

So now state law enforcement is working with retailers to help recognize the fakes and enforce the law which they say is much more difficult to do nowadays with so many of the IDs being ordered on online and made in China.

“It's a growing problem and a serious problem in our community,” said Sgt. Wesley Kuhl with the State of Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. “The fake IDs we see now get better and better every year.”
 
But the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control recently received some grant money that should help in their crack down.
 
“The money we received from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety will be used to educate others and conduct enforcement activities throughout the state,” said Sgt. Kuhl.  
 
If an underage drinker is caught, authorities will do a follow up with the licensee to make sure they actually checked the ID. If they didn't check the ID, the liquor establishment will be fined and could even be shut down. 
 
It's just part of the reason why Greg Eccles of Top' s Liquor in Tempe takes his liquor sales so seriously.
 
“ASU students are probably a good 40-50 percent of our business for sure,” said Eccles. “They definitely try to buy in here but we card like crazy.”
 
And they confiscate like crazy, collecting dozens of fake IDs in the last six months alone.
 
The challenge is recognizing the fakes because so many of them look legit.
 
“Each state has its own security features we look for including micro print, ultra violet features and holograms,” said Sgt. Kuhl. 
 
A quick look through a jewelers loop can often spot the fake.
 
If an underage person is caught with a fake ID the penalties are steep. Not only will they be fined and lose their license for at least six months, but they will also face criminal charges.
 
“It's a serious violation arrest on your criminal record for life, so if you try to be a nurse or a teacher you now have to disclose that on an application," Sgt. Kuhl cautioned.
 
There's also the danger of putting your personal information on the Internet when ordering a fake ID online.
 
Recently in New York state a group of teens were arrested for getting IDs through a website it turns out was based in China.
 
Police say the website sold their personal information, which was used to get fake credit cards and even mortgages.
 
It may take years for students to discover they are thousands of dollars in debt, and their credit histories are trashed.
 
It's the sort of thing that will have a lasting impact on your life and police hope parents will take the time to talk to their kids, and even check their wallet for a fake ID.