College is a time for experimentation, and a lot of students do some of that experimenting with alcohol – even though they’re still underage.
If you don’t think that your son or daughter would ever use a fake ID or that those are a thing of the past, think again. In 2021, 32.2% of underage college students admitted that they had a fake ID. That means there’s a roughly one-in-three chance that your college student has one.
What’s a fake ID, exactly?
The term “fake ID” is actually a misnomer because it refers to “any blank, forged, stolen, fictitious, counterfeit or unlawfully issued driver’s license or identification card.” Because it’s gotten harder (and more expensive) to get a counterfeit ID, the vast majority of people will borrow, steal or buy an ID from an older friend or relative. (The older friend or relative will then report their ID as lost and simply get a new one.)
If you’re over a certain age, you may remember when having – and getting caught – trying to buy liquor or get into a bar with a fake ID was almost a rite of passage. The worst that usually happened to anybody was that the owner of the establishment would confiscate the ID and, maybe, embarrass the student a little.
Things have changed quite a bit. Thanks to concerns about identity theft, terrorism and other crimes, a fake ID is treated very seriously. Anybody caught knowingly using one can generally expect to be arrested and charged with a third-degree felony in Florida. That can mean significant fines and real prison time, followed by all of the collateral damage that means for their lives.
If your college student was caught with a fake, stolen or borrowed ID, it’s wise to explore all their defense options as quickly as possible.