Fake IDs continue to soar in Brookings

Serena Davis, Assistant Lifestyles Editor

 Brookings law enforcement officials and bar owners say they are seeing an increase in the use of fake identification cards compared to previous years. 

Officials say the lack of house parties seems to be pushing students to downtown bars. This has led to an influx in the number of calls they have been getting for assistance in determining if an ID is real. 

“Even during move-in weekend we only had one call to get a house party under control,” Brookings Police Officer Jory Hart said. 

Brookings police also cite the advance in printing technology and the ease of online ordering for the jump in fake IDs, saying that the number of parties has gone down over the years. 

They have not offered any incentives for bars to confiscate fake IDs, saying that responsibility falls on the bars themselves. However some bars do give incentives to their employees to confiscate fake IDs. 

Representatives from Main Street Pub said this year they’ve had to hire more staff to keep up with the large number of students going downtown. 

Another risk that comes with underage students drinking downtown is the walk back to campus. Students who are inebriated and alone often get help from the police back to campus, Hart said. But most students walk back in bigger groups and usually make it back to the dorms just fine. 

“If someone is to the point where they’re unsafe, like being passed out in an alley or on someone’s lawn, then we will step in,” Hart said.

Most of the bars downtown and the Brookings Municipal Liquor Store follow a similar line of protocol when it comes to fake IDs. They’ll confiscate the ID and call Brookings Police for assistance and let them take it from there. 

Students who are old enough to drink alcohol say they’ve never had to wait in lines this long at the downtown bars. During the football game against the University of South Dakota Oct. 8, Junior Cody Weinzierl said the bars were packed and that it’s been that way since the beginning of the semester. 

“It’s insane; I’m waiting 10 minutes to get one drink and there’s no way for them to make it come out any faster, there’s just that many people,” Weinzierl said.

To make matters worse, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol intercepted over 150 fake IDs headed for Brookings in September. Because students are giving out very personal information to strangers, ordering fake IDs can also lead to cases of identity theft, University Police Officer Roberts said during a Students’ Association meeting Oct. 4. 

Possession of a revoked, suspended or altered license can lead to a $2,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

To find more information on charges go to https://sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/2046971