Once upon a time, driver's licenses were simple hunks of plastic, which meant fake IDs were relatively easy to create and acquire. Now that every state festoons the damn things with holograms, they're more expensive—and yet they're more popular than ever.
The New York Times has an update for those who've purchased their liquor in blissful legality for years. According to "teenagers and legal experts" (an unholy pairing if ever there was one), it's incredibly common for teens to own a fake. If anything, they've grown more popular in the last couple of decades. But you don't go to the guy operating out of the back of the shady head shop anymore: Many teens turn to IDChief, a comically sketchy website that'll make you a customized fake for $150. That doesn't sound like a recipe for identity theft AT ALL.
Believe it or not, that's actually the less risky way to acquire a fake these days. God forbid you make your own or, worse, try making a little cash by peddling them to your peers. If you're dealing with a particularly intense police department, you're vulnerable to more than a mere slap on the wrist:
William Finley Trosclair and his college roommate were arrested in 2011 for selling high-quality fake IDs to students at the University of Georgia and other schools. Originally believing he would be charged with a misdemeanor, Mr. Trosclair, now 23 and living in Cleveland, ended up serving three months in prison and paying $6,500 in fines, to say nothing of legal fees.
"We were just trying to get our friends into bars," he said in a telephone interview, but the local authorities "were trying to turn it into this post-9/11 terrorism deal."
No doubt the good citizens of Athens consider Mr. Trosclair a public menace for his role enabling underage drinking, but bringing terrorism into the conversation seems a little much. He's probably just lucky nobody connected it to the BORDER CRISIS, thereby making himself a cable news villain.
This all seems especially dumb when you consider that an 18-year-old can sign her name to a massive college loan that even bankruptcy can't discharge. However, there's one solution that ain't happening any time soon: rolling back the drinking age. The New York Daily News reports on a recently conducted Gallup poll, which found that 74 percent of Americans would "oppose legislation seeking to move the drinking age to 18."
Seems everybody would prefer teens continue lying to bartenders and handing their personal info over to mysterious offshore Internet entities.
Photo via AP Images.