TABC warns college students of consequences of using fake ID

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Updated: 8/24/2013 10:25 pm
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has some words of advice to all incoming college students. 

"It's very important that the young people know that it's not just a simple matter of obtaining a fake ID and trying to buy alcohol. There are a lot of potential pitfalls in that."

Captain Mark Menn said the agency works alongside local business to catch and stop underage drinking from taking place. 

"We try to identify our retailers, our licensed business that may have a potential problem with underage kids trying to obtain alcohol in their establishment," Menn said. "We can take direct action through criminal charges on the individual, and we can assist the staff members in spotting potential violations."

Alvin Morin, manager of Chimy's, said they have worked with TABC for a number of years, learning just what to look out for. 

"It's just like a training seminar, and what they do is just teach us on ins and outs of checking ID's, and what to look for," Morin said. "Holograms, how it feels, the thickness of the ID. So, there's a little art to it."

He said he also makes it clear to his employees that students aren't the only ones facing consequences. 

"Be smart," Morin said. "Use your judgement, and be very thorough about it, because your life is on the line. It's a $10,000 fine, up to a year in jail. So, you are costing your career, and in most cases, your freedom sometimes."
"If the drivers license or identification card appears to be issued by a government entity, it appears to be a valid ID with the right date of birth, the picture is consistent with the person presenting it, then there are some exceptions," Morin said. "We do understand that there are some really good false ID's out there. We're going to give our retailers the benefit of the doubt, and we're going to work with them."

TABC also engages in undercover operations at local businesses, generally in response to a complaint of underage drinking. Violations for using a fake ID include possession of another person's drivers license, possession of a false or altered government ID, and attempting to purchase alcohol. 
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