Wrong. With Camp War Eagle and summer classes in session, officials urge students to avoid using fake ID’s to enter bars and buy alcoholic beverages. Using a fake ID at a bar can prove to be embarrassing and expensive. “We cut up fakes,” said Scott Dutton, manager and bar tender at Bad Habits. “If we think (people) are underage, we card them at the bar, even if their IDs have already been checked at the door.” Some students have seen first-hand the consequences of using a fake ID.
“I’ve seen people have their IDs taken away and then told to leave,” said Amanda Memering, a junior in mechanical engineering. Memering said at least five of her friends own fake IDs.
Rich Yates, junior in business at Southern Union, knows about five people who own fake IDs, and some have gotten caught. “I know of one person who got kicked out of the bar and two who got rejected at the door,” Yates said.
However, he said their IDs worked for a long time before anyone found out.
“Most people I know just use real IDs of people who look like them,” said Spencer Ellen, a sophomore in landscape horticulture at Southern Union. “It’s less risky.”
Employees of Bad Habits see at least one fake ID each night, Dutton said. “It’s a college town, so all the kids use their parent’s money to get really good ones made,” Dutton said.
Finding someone to make a fake ID can be difficult. “It really depends on who you know,” Memering said.
In addition to the risk of getting caught, fake IDs pose financial issues. Fake IDs usually cost between $50 and $100 or more, Memering said. “I’ve heard of Web site out of Canada that charges $75 for one and $150 for two,” Yates said.
No more than 10 people try to use fake IDs each week at Bad Habits, said bouncer Drew Coleman. Coleman has been a bouncer for five years and has also worked at Fat Daddy’s in Auburn. Coleman’s policy regarding the treatment of people with fakes IDs varies depending on their attitudes.
“If they don’t argue, I tell them not to come back,” Coleman said. “If they argue, I usually take the ID and turn it in to Alcoholic Beverage Control.”
The Alabama ABC Board controls the distribution and licensing of alcoholic beverages while continuing education and enforcement through its trained employees, according to the ABC Web site. Enforcement personnel use innovative techniques and programs proven to deter the acquisition of alcohol and tobacco to minors and the potential possession of these products by minors, according to the Web site.
Although Bad Habits sets its age limit for admission at 19, employees mark X’s on both hands of underage patrons.
“If underage kids try to buy drinks or are caught with beer or liquor cups in their hands, we kick them out and hold their ID until the next day,” Coleman said.
Some bars designate at least one night per week to admit underage people. “The best places to go if you’re underage are probably Sky Bar, In Italy and Bourbon Street,” Memering said.
Many, including Sky Bar Café, 17/16 and Bodega, have strict policies regarding the use of fakes.
Fake IDs also pose problems for bar employees and can result in termination if not handled properly. “As manager, it’s my butt on the line,” Dutton said. “I won’t let anyone jeopardize my job.”