Fake identification card in hand and ready to party, Andrew dropped by his usual store to stock up on liquor.
“I’ve been using it at this store for a while, and for some reason that night I got a little nervous and I told them I was 24 instead of the 23 age that is actually on my ID, then they went and checked it out,” said Andrew, a second-year UCLA student who declined to give his last name since he continues to use his ID and does not want to get caught engaging in an illegal activity.
The cashier took the ID to his manager, who swiped the card and it passed, Andrew said.
“At that point I guess they didn’t see anything wrong with it, but because I said the wrong age they said I’d have to talk to the manager about getting it back,” he said.
After telling him not to use the ID again at that particular store, the manager returned Andrew’s ID to him.
“I went back to the same store exactly a week later and I had no problem,” Andrew said.
That college students drink is no secret, and with about 53 percent of undergraduates at UCLA being underage, some use fake IDs to keep the drinks coming.
Jerry Baik, the supervising attorney for the identity-theft unit of the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, said the issue is a serious one.
“I think every city, every campus is worried about students using fake IDs to purchase alcohol because there have been documented cases where students have died because of alcohol poisoning,” he said.
Demetri Blaisdell, a second-year political science student, said fake IDs seem to be readily available at UCLA.
“I’ve been offered by at least a couple different people,” Blaisdell said. “I could definitely ask around and have one in a week or two I’m sure, for not too expensive.”
Blaisdell said he’s met people with access to “official DMV” IDs, which he said can scan and pass a black-light test, two security features meant to prevent the use of fake IDs.
Andrew said he bought his scannable ID during his senior year of high school for $80.
“It was a pretty shitty endeavor,” he said of the fake-ID business. “They kind of do it on their own, and it doesn’t look very good, but it scans and that’s kind of how a lot of stores decide whether they’re going to take it or not.
“It’s my picture, but a lot of my friends confuse it thinking it’s someone else’s picture because the quality’s funny.”
But students do not always get away with using fake IDs.
Alex Sweetman, a second-year aerospace engineering student, said he saw a liquor-store clerk confiscate his friend’s ID.Mark Two Facebook Zuckerberg 's Years—and 's Inside Struggle Hellish dgq7zHH
Provides To Lansing Grand Sluggish Tribune Response Haven “The guy who was working at the counter told my friend, “˜That’s a fake; I’m not buying that at all,’” Sweetman said.
He said his friend denied the ID was fake, but when the clerk scanned it, it didn’t pass. The clerk refused to return the ID.
Sweetman estimated that the ID cost about $140. He said his friend was upset over the loss, but added, “Then like the next week he went and got another one.”
Vincent Cravens, a representative for the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control’s Los Angeles office, said the department is aware of the issue of underage students buying alcohol.
“That’s something that we deal with now,” he said. “We see (fake IDs) quite often. … We do take it seriously.”
Cravens said some students do suffer consequences for using fake IDs.
“We issue citations in regards to that, and those citations go to the city attorney on a criminal matter,” he said. “They will decide whether or not to file it … to process those violations.”
Cravens said most students in this situation do not have criminal records and will usually just pay a fine. He estimated the amount ranges from $50 to $250 or more, as decided by the city attorney office on a case-by-case basis.
Also, students’ universities are notified after a violation, and deans may impose further discipline.
The ABC also enforces the law with vendors.
Sluggish Grand To Haven Lansing Provides Response Tribune Some Westwood vendors, though, said they did not notice the existence of fake-ID use.
“We’re not having a problem with that; we’ve never encountered it,” David Weitzel, shift supervisor at the Rite Aid in Westwood, said of fake-ID use.
Managers at Ralph’s, CVS and Long’s Drugs in Westwood all declined to comment on the issue.