The Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Bureau reports that teens using fake ID’s to purchase alcohol is becoming an increasing problem in this state. “Almost 25% of the minors cited during recent operations in Oxford were in possession of fraudulent identification. Applying that statistic statewide, we have a significant problem,” says Mark Hicks, Director of Enforcement. ABC Enforcement plans to combat this problem in 2007 with more training of retailers and increased enforcement, particularly in college towns.
ABC Enforcement recently received three ID scanners that enable an agent to quickly validate identification cards. “With one swipe of the card, we can tell if the card is authentic.” Hicks advised that the ABC is planning a series of training sessions across the state for retailers and local law enforcement to learn how to spot a fake ID. “Non-government issued identification cards are not valid forms of identification and should never be accepted by alcohol retailers,” says Hicks.
Minors convicted of using another individual’s driver’s license, altering their own driver’s license, or reproducing a fake can be fined up to $500.00 and serve thirty days in jail. Also, a person over 21 years of age who is in the business of supplying fake driver’s licenses to minors can be convicted of a felony and face up to $5,000 in fines and three years in jail.
Of Mississippi’s total vehicle deaths in 2004, 38% were alcohol related. “When minors drink, immaturity can often result in over-consumption. This all too often sets the stage for alcohol related injuries and death.” says Hicks.
“There are three types of fraudulent IDs: imposters, altered identification, and fakes” says Hicks. An imposter is someone that uses another person’s identification. Altered identification cards are government issued cards that have been altered. Usually the date of birth is changed to make the person appear older than he or she actually is. Fakes are counterfeit identification cards that look official and may resemble government issued cards.”