Bars, liquor stores seeing increase in underage students with fake IDs

Hampshire County

Hampshire County Liquor Stores have been seeing more underage students using fake IDs to buy alcohol and tobacco products.

Many college students use fake IDs to buy alcohol or buy drinks in bars, but using those fake pieces of plastic can lead to a criminal charge.

A lot of underage college students use Fake IDs if they can find one.

“They’re pretty common I think,” said one college student. “Maybe one of my friends didn’t have a fake ID, myself included, I’m 21 now so I don’t need one but most people have them.”

But using that fake ID could have serious consequences. If a police officer saw someone try to use a fake ID, they could be arrested.

Under state law, using a fake ID is punishable by a $200 fine or a maximum of three months in jail. With many colleges and universities in western Massachusetts, Spirit Haus in Amherst said they see several fake ID’s every week.

“We keep the ID, if they want to get the police and get their ID back they’re more than welcome to, but that has never happened,” said Richard Maxson at Spirit Haus.

22News shot video of a pile of fake IDs at Spirit Haus that have been accumulated over time.

Employees at the Spirit Haus in Amherst use this special ID science machine that detects which IDs are real and which ones are fake.

The machine uses a criteria that checks the expiration date, barcode as well as many other aspects of the card.

A 21-year old UMass student who used to go to school in Texas said it’s harder to use fake IDs in Massachusetts.

“When I went to Texas A&M, I could easily walk into a liquor store and have no problems and that’s when I was 18,” said Brock Periera, a UMass student. “Here and around Massachusetts, in general, is probably the hardest.”

Employees at the Spirit Haus said that they see the most fake IDs around Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day.

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