Fake IDs are one of the most common ways underage college students score their booze.
About 32% of college students have fake IDs to help them gain access to alcohol and bars, according to a study done by PMC,
Most students may not be fully aware of the consequences when getting caught with a fake ID. If police are involved in a fake ID confiscation, the underage student could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, or even a felony in some states.
Luckily for Chico State students, it is only a misdemeanor in California.
The art of collecting Fake IDs is prevalent in Chico. Some liquor stores, like Tony’s Liquor on W Sacramento Avenue, have created a collage of fake IDs to scare off anyone who wants to use one.
Addel Mubraaka, the owner of Tony’s Liquor, uses a blue light, a black light and a machine to make sure no one buys alcohol with a fake ID.
“We try to be very careful when it comes to fake IDs,” Addel said. “We don’t want the students or our store to get in trouble.”
He has collected hundreds of fake IDs that students have tried to use to purchase alcohol at his establishment.
Mubraaka said that once he finds out that the customer is using a fake ID, he tells him or her to leave and confiscates the fake.
“Most of the time the customer is just embarrassed and leaves quickly,” he said. “Still, there have been times that they try to argue and get the ID back because they paid big bucks for it.”
When that happens Mubraaka tells the customer that he will call the cops and let them decide.
A Chico State sophomore who wishes to remain anonymous says she bought her fake ID in high school. She was given a form and was told to fill out her address, height, weight, etc. The seller mailed her the card a few weeks later.
She was able to use her fake ID at numerous liquor stores in her area. She paid $150 for her fake ID, and the card was able to pass through a blue light and a machine.
Even though its a well made card, she says she is still skeptical about using it in Chico.
“I haven’t used my card in Chico, and I don’t think I will,” she said. “I think it’s a lot harder to use a fake at Chico liquor stores because the owners here are always looking out for them.”
Still, it is very popular for underclassmen to buy fake IDs in Chico. She said that most students try to get a big group together to buy fake IDs because they are usually cheaper when bought in bulk. The sophomore said she has seen fake IDs cost anywhere from $50 to $200 each.
John Feeney, chief of police, says that since the store merchants and bartenders have been working in Chico for so long, they expect to be handed a fake every once in awhile. He also pointed out that buying a fake ID can lead to numerous problems.
“After the students get the alcohol there is a risk of them driving under the influence and endangering themselves as well as others,” he said. “There’s a lot more that comes with using a fake ID for alcohol.”
Feeney hopes that students use their money more wisely because there is a lot more to do in Chico besides partying and drinking, he said.
“I don’t want the students at Chico State to became a statistic,” he said. “It’s just not worth it.”
Susan Leamon can be reached at [email protected] or @susanleamon on twitter.