Fake ID’s and Ethical Compromises

This week, Linda Conner Lambeck of the Connecticut Post reported that many campuses face serious challenges in combating alcohol abuse during the first few weeks of the fall term – some administrators refer to this period of the academic year as the “Red Zone.” Thriving fake ID businesses on campuses across the country perpetuate this problem, as students routinely break the law in order to have access to alcohol. A recent story in Newsday detailed the sources of these fakes, from on-campus entrepreneurs (some of whom produce hundreds of false ID’s) to online shops that market “novelty” ID’s and do-it-yourself kits. Printing and imaging technology is getting better and cheaper, making it easy for an enterprising college student to run an on-campus business. Newsday reporter Alfonso Castillo noted, “Where there’s a will – and perhaps a decent laser printer – there’s a way to score a realistic identification card that might convince a bar bouncer or grocery store clerk that an underage college student is old enough to drink beer or liquor.” As students find creative new sources for fake IDs, a technological arms race ensues: “much as one drink leads to another, the state’s efforts to step up security features on official IDs forces counterfeiters to step up their technology, which in turn forces bars and other establishments to step up their own security to make sure they don’t get taken by an underage drinker.” In the end, it becomes increasingly more difficult for businesses to spot the fakes: Virginia Guy, executive director of the Drug Education Council in Mobile, Alabama, said, “It would be real hard to catch these fakes at a typical bar at night, in the dark, with a bouncer at the door.” As long as our alcohol policies maintain the status quo, these problems aren’t going anywhere. A more effective solution to this problem would address the culture that drives young adults to engage in these ethical compromises in the first place.

4 Responses to “Fake ID’s and Ethical Compromises”

  1. Michael. Says:

    Not only this, actual state issued ID’s are passed down from siblings and friends who look alike.

    We aren’t addressing the problem by simply trying to one-up the fake ID market, because its just going to evolve to match it.

    Truly, our nations mindset (and partially our intolerance) of alcohol plays a big part in some of our problems.

  2. Matthew Says:

    Besides, there isnt any real difference between 18 and 21. 25 is barely different,
    but 21. Not at all. So of coarse its going
    to be easy to convince someone your 21 with
    a fake id with the proper technology.

  3. Chloe Says:

    A majority of underage students have fake I.D’s so clearly our systems of a 21 year old drinking age isn’t working because students in college are going to find any means they can to drink. It would be safer to just lower the drinking age because having to sneak around with fake ids to get drinks is ridiculous and causes underage people to drink more. There is no reason why 18-20 year olds should not be able to drink a glass of wine at dinner or beer at a sport bar watching a football game. Having to fake your identity just to get a beer is outrageous and frankly, embarrassing. It just proves to the rest of the world that America has no control over their youth and we clearly disrespect the laws and our country by using fake ids but if we are supposed to serve in our military by age 18 why cant we get served at a bar?

  4. ChooseAndAct Says:

    I had a friend who went our bar hopping on his 21st birthday. At the third or fourth bar the bouncer wouldn’t let him in becuase he thought that his real ID was a fake. My friend laughed and took out his fake ID that he needed up until that night and said “N this is my fake one. Why would I have two?” The bouncer let him in.