Mary Elizabeth Wheeler, Chattanooga, Tenn., — In an anonymous survey of 100 students, 40 percent admit to having a fake ID, and 48 percent of students say they personally know someone that manufactures and/or sells fake IDs.
Some 86 percent of students said they had never been caught using their fake ID, while knowing the risks of having it.
Even when caught using fake ID’s, both the students using them and the businesses that accept them rarely get more than a slap on the wrist. According to the Times Free Press, popular downtown Chattanooga restaurants such as Chili’s, Easy Bistro and the Big Chill have been caught serving minors. All three establishments paid a nominal fine and/or underwent a short beer license suspension, and were back in business quickly with little to no interruption to alcohol sales.
“My North Carolina fake ID has only been denied in Chattanooga once, at the Big Chill on Northshore,” a 20-year-old female UTC student said. “I had used it there before but one day the bartender decided to examine it very closely, she put it under a backlight behind the bar and compared it to a guide of government issued IDs. I got nervous, asked for my ID back and quickly left the bar.”
Penalties for students who are caught using a fake ID tend to be less severe and under enforced compared to businesses that are caught accepting them. This is because the state of Tennessee prevents individuals, other than those in law enforcement, from confiscating suspected fake IDs. Individuals checking IDs are unable to do anything but deny service to those presenting fake IDs or call the police, although there is nothing to stop the ID user from leaving the establishment before the police
A female sophomore who was charged with a Class D Felony for fake ID possession after being pulled over in July said, “the judge dropped the charges against me in exchange for 20 hours of community service.”
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Discussion Fakeidvendors Id Fake Vendor amp; On average, students spend anywhere from $50 to $100 on a custom-made fake ID. Many underage students see their fake ID as an investment in their social life as it gives them more freedom to go out in Chattanooga where the majority of bars are 21 and up.
“I have purchased four fake IDs since my freshman year but have never been caught,” a male junior said. “Two of them I bought from someone on campus.”
Id Fakeidvendors Vendor amp; Fake Discussion Fewer than half of all UTC students surveyed were confident in their knowledge of laws regarding fake IDs. Fewer than five percent of respondents were aware that their fake IDs violated the UTC Code of Conduct.
According to the UTC Code of Conduct, “forging, altering, destroying, falsifying, or misusing records, ID, or documents whether in print or electronic form…” and/or “…committing an act that is prohibited by local, state, or federal law” will result in punishments such as dismissal from the university, revocation of admission/degree, and/or loss of financial aid and housing.
Soliciting or selling anything, legal or illegal, on campus without prior approval by the Dean of Students Office carries the same risks and more.