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September 23, 1987 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

C O L L E G E L I F E

Atxl J1 ttl!.i OnK

License to swill: Doormen 'card'
customers at a popular USC
hangout; page from
bartenders'checking guide

(16

client's actual license, photo-
graph the composite, then lami-
nate. When the drinking age Mine
went up, Billy began making
about 15 altered licenses a week. Vil
"Mine were the best I've ever
seen," says Billy with pride.
Serious consequences: In most
states, possession of a phony ID is
a misdemeanor punishable by a
small fine. Usually, however,
getting caught means nothing
more than being thrown out of a
bar and losing the card. Obtain-
ing a phony ID with a forged
birth certificate or actually man-
ufacturing counterfeit licenses,
however, can lead to much more
serious consequences. In Michi-
gan, for example, forgery is a fel-
ony punishable by 14 years in
jail. And two students in Califor-
nia were threatened with prose-
cution when a routine check of
their housing turned up a poster
board in the form of an oversize driver's
license that when photographed and lami-
nated could look like the real thing. Before
charges were dropped for technical rea-
sons, the students each faced a year in jail
and a $1,000 fine. "This is a very serious
matter and we go for a full felony convic-
tion," says Jerry Galbreath, supervising
special investigator for the DMV. "Peo-
ple doing this know full well they are
counterfeiting."

monlcne un how "VAII) PLA
IN"' o"SAFE DIRIVERl
NI3WAI- in, secod ulda blowk.
gall drnu, box on Islot issues only,
i. fIs NBiS. Ilngingl Systems
r'a license: photo ban6.Imop is
low for drivers uruler 2t
:'nrly 18).
dlon: small slate seal and Coanea
iloru nonlap phow dg. M daen stat
Is ar visible ulune "Mack i gln.

FLORIDA
License number: Souodno systn:.
""gin " wt firs iour:o ast nx. The
Iwo digit group is year of birh.
License term: valid for d or6 yaxs;
expiration isran birthday.
Olrpornsnnminnmum aIe In
O~wnrship proofin car, fogn.rt
Rexisnrrtion expires: nuagiterod
Attached certificate can extend
expiration 4 years.
PRIOR LICENSE;
N E INVAULD JULY 1986*
CURRENT LICENSE;
VALID IN 1987
15

state investigator Lou Terminello of the
division of alcoholic beverages and tobacco,
they've even managed to infiltrate clubs by
"dressing our people up in purple hair and
sparkles."
That's why college-town nightspots are
taking a tougher approach to "carding"
than the casual flashlight peek of the
past. Manybouncers are now equippedwith
magnifying glasses and photographs of out-
of-state licenses to help spot homemade fac-
similes. Others use the same ultraviolet
lights used to detect counterfeit money to
check for special markings imprinted on
some driver's licenses. Crowded nightspots
like Monty Trainer's Restaurant and Raw
Bar near the University of Miami hire off-
duty cops to help check ID's. Monty's even
sends employees to seminars for lessons on
the finer points of ID checking.
Heightened enforcement has had little
effect on those students who consider the
new drinking-age laws an unfair takeback
of a right once granted in many states at 18.
"I think it's crazy that I could be denied
going into a bar just because I'm 20 and
not 21," says Pat Skis, a junior at USC.
"There's really no difference. I'm old
enough to handle my drinking responsi-
bly." Classmate Tom Evans, 19, proffers
another argument. "I can go skiing on vaca-
tion and drink all I want in Colorado," he
says. "Then I come back to Los Angeles and
I can't anymore. How fair is that? That's
what makes people go down to the DMV
and get a fake ID."
Getting the message: That kind of cavalier
attitude can be dangerous. As the war be-
tween the ID forgers and the ID checkers
escalates, students are turning to more and
more sophisticated forms of fraud-and ex-
posing themselves to greater penalties. It's
one thing to use a razor blade to make an
"8" on a student ID look like a "3," quite
another to sign your name to a forged birth
certificate or manufactured license. "What
seems to be a very innocent act-and young
people don't think about this-could come
back to haunt you," says investigator Gal-
breath. "A felony perjury on your record
can damage any professional career that
requires a background check. Employers
look at that perjury conviction and find it
difficult to find you trustworthy."
These days, that message seems to be
getting across. More and more student
manufacturers are following the same
path as Ed, a Miami junior who had been
making $40 poster ID's for friends. Wary of
the risks, Ed has not only dropped out of the
business, he's even stopped using his own
phony ID. Lately, Ed's been relying on a
tried-and-true, low-risk method: he bor-
rows his older brother's driver's license.
GEORGE HACKETT with TERRY ALLEN
in Los Angeles, S E A N W A G S T A F F in San Diego,
PATRICK McCREERYin Miami,
ELLEN WILLIAMS in Austin and
WENDY SHARP in Ann Arbor

4

4

BERNARD GOTFRYD-NEWSWEEK
For bar owners, the proliferation of bo-
gus cards poses an even greater-though
purely financial-risk. Authorities can
temporarily shut down a bar that's caught
serving minors or even revoke the liquor
license, which can cost hundreds of thou-
sands of dollars to replace. The owners
are liable even if the minor used a false ID
to get in. Florida authorities have been
known to hire underage students to
check out a bar's door policy. According to

34 NEWSWEEK ON CAMPUS

SEPTEMBER 1987 4

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