Eighty-four arrests, including seizure of 43 fake identification cards, have resulted from the Alcohol Beverage Control’s enforcement emphasis on curbing the use of fake identification by minors. Since October 1, “Operation Fake-Out” has focused on alcohol related violations in the university towns of Hattiesburg, Starkville, and Oxford. The 84 arrests were primarily for possession of beer or alcohol by a minor.
During the year 2007, records show about 25% of the minors arrested for alcohol violations were in possession of fraudulent identification. With 50% of those minors arrested this past month in possession of false identification, it is evident that teens using fake ID’s to purchase alcohol is a growing problem in this state. A high percentage of the fake identification cards seized are classified as “imposters” because the minor borrowed the identification card from a friend or relative.
Chief Mark Hicks, ABC Enforcement, said “loaning your license to a minor to purchase alcoholic beverages could have serious consequences, especially if the minor is involved in an accident. The loaner of the card could face civil and criminal charges. Unless store clerks and bartenders are on their toes, fake identification allows for unfettered access to alcoholic beverages. High risk drinking among college students can lead to negative behavior causing academic, legal, and personal problems. I strongly urge parents across the state to talk to their kids about the consequences.”
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 for a first offense.