Students dispute usage of fake IDs

Taken from the 2010 Drivers License Guide

For those daring enough to obtain and use them, false identification serves as an illegal facilitator for underage drinking, and it is not uncommon for an Allegheny student to have used one before.

“I got my fake ID made for me back at home,” said a sophomore student who asked to remain anonymous. “It has always worked for me at home and in Meadville.”

Students like this sophomore use their fake IDs at the various bars and distributors in Meadville.  Allegheny Safety and Security claim that fake IDs are seldom an issue for them.

“We don’t usually have to deal with fake ID problems,” said Safety and Security receptionist Pam Teasdille.

When reprimanded by Safety and Security officers, students use their AllCard as a means of identification.

“We rarely see students’ fraudulent IDs if they have them,” said Safety and Security Officer Bob Wright. “The bars and liquor distributors in town can scan the IDs to make sure they’re valid.  If a student is caught, the ID is usually confiscated by the city.”

The risk of getting caught using a fake ID is present at Meadville bars.

“We don’t catch a whole lot of kids trying to use them,” said an Otter’s Pub bartender. “Most of them have IDs that scan as real.  I would say once or twice a month we’ll catch someone.”

Fake IDs can be made using a driver’s license template, to which an accurate picture and fake information are added.  Others find a friend of age willing to give up an old license.

“I got a real ID from someone that looked like me,” said Craig Stann, ’11. “I used it my whole sophomore year [and then] until I turned 21 my junior year.  It basically scanned everywhere it needed to be scanned, [at] bars and distributors.”

Fake ID generators and templates often come in the form of computer software, sometimes downloadable from the Internet.

“Most of my friends have fake IDs that they got from home,” said Dan Schlossberg, ’13. “There was one guy in Chicago that made a lot of money making them for kids.  He just got arrested this summer, though.”

Fake ID operations across the U.S. create a highly risky underground market. The busted operation Schlossenberg referred to provided thousands of teenagers with fake IDs.  Some students don’t see the tradeoff worth it.

“I don’t know a lot of people who use them,” said John Stenger, ’11. “Seems too risky for just not having to wait another year or two.”

Students’ opinions on fake IDs remain mixed; some, like Stenger, chose to wait until they turn 21. Others will continue to use fakes, despite the risks.

Editor’s note: This article has been edited to remove a student’s name who asked to remain anonymous, due to concerns about the legality of their actions. (1/2/10, 5:15 p.m.)