October 9, 2006
Source: Sentinel and Enterprise.com
Written by Jason Abbruzzese
Zach Scott, 20, a junior at Fitchburg State College, says fake IDs are a normal part of college.
“People always carry fake IDs. That’s part of the lifestyle,” he said recently. “It’s the freedom of going out, not being under the roof of your parents.”
Katie Campbell, 21, a sophomore at FSC, echoed Scott. “Basically everyone, anyone who likes to go to bars (has a fake ID),” she said recently.
Fake identification cards are a major problem across the nation, according to Jim Copple, director of the International Institute for Alcohol Awareness (IIAA). “The fake ID issue in this country is a $25 billion problem,” Copple said during a phone interview last week. “It has gotten very sophisticated. The efforts to prevent it and control it are also getting sophisticated.”
Justin Grocki, 18, a freshman at FSC, said acquiring fake IDs is just a matter of finding a person who makes them. “I don’t think it’s that hard to get if you know the right person,” he said.
The battle between businesses and underage consumers is nothing new to David Celuzza, who has owned Slattery’s Restaurant and Bar on Lunenburg Street since 1984. Celuzza said the art of checking identification has changed dramatically since he began working in the hospitality industry. “When we first got in this business, the licenses were just a blue little piece of cardboard,” he said. “Now, you have IDs that are virtually identical to what is legitimate.” “I don’t know what you can do at this time, short of going into fingerprint scanning or eye scanners,” he continued.
Heather Francis, 19, a sophomore at FSC, said students are able to acquire nearly perfect fake IDs. “I think a lot of people have them,” she said. “A lot of people I know either go to Canada or get them from older siblings.”
Evan Perry, 20, a sophomore at FSC, said ID fakers are harnessing new technology. “Photoshop is so good,” he said, referring to the popular computer program.
But lawmakers and businesses are fighting back with their own technical innovations.