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Community of Hays cracks down on Fake IDs

1/7/2014

Special to The Hays Daily News

If you're younger than 21 and plan on using a fake or borrowed ID to get into a bar for a few drinks, you might want to reconsider. Extra law enforcement will be on the lookout for individuals using fake ids.

The Fake ID 101 information and enforcement campaign kicks off this month in an effort to reduce alcohol access to minors and will continue through June. The Fake ID 101 campaign transpired from collaboration between the Everyday Prevention Impacting Community Coalition of Ellis County, the Regional Prevention Center, the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Hays Police Department and Fort Hays State University Police.

The idea behind Fake ID 101 is to deter young people from using fake IDs. Using a fake ID, whether it is borrowed from a family member or friend, altered in any way or an actual fake ID, can result in consequences for breaking the law. The Fake ID 101 campaign will ensure these laws strictly are enforced.

The campaign will begin with a wave of education through large display boards located near the entrance of local bars that cater to the high school and college age students informing minors of the consequences for using fake or borrowed IDs. Posters containing the same information will adorn local bars, restaurants and liquor establishments throughout town. There also will be various avenues of advertising on TV, radio, billboards and websites in the Hays community, as well as, FHSU campus.

Increased enforcement operations will follow-up the educational component. Local law enforcement agencies will be stepping up enforcement measures by doing additional compliance checks, bar checks, cops-n-shops and surveillance operations among bars, liquor establishments, restaurants and during community events and celebrations to deter minor's access to alcohol and limit social hosting. "If someone is caught using a fake ID, they could face a fine of up to $2,500 and possible jail time of up to a year," said Assistant Chief of Police Brian Dawson. "Most people have no idea there are all sorts of consequences that come from being arrested for using or even possessing a fake, borrowed or altered ID."

Not only are there legal consequences for minors choosing to knock back a few beers, it also can be detrimental in the long run.

"The younger someone starts drinking, the more likely they are to become an alcoholic", said Jodi Sproul, director of prevention at the Regional Prevention Center. "The majority of violent crimes on college campus are alcohol-related, and the majority of college rapes involve alcohol use by either the victim and/or the assailant."

Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office Director Norraine Wingfield stressed potentially fatal consequences of underage drinking and driving. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death nationwide for young people between the ages of 15 and 20.

"We hope this collaborative effort among multiple agencies to eliminate underage access to alcohol will be successful," Sproul said.

For additional information, call Sproul at (785) 625-5521.