low risk at local bars
INDIANA For about six months before she turned 21, Kayla M. Cioffo, a senior journalism major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, used someone else’s driver’s license to get into almost every bar downtown.
Cioffo said she did not pay for her fake Pennsylvania permit. A friend found it on the ground. Its photo resembled Cioffo. The friend offered the ID to her. Cioffo took it.
“I did have a good amount of friends who were already 21,” Cioffo explained in an April 8 interview in the Stapleton Library. “I would go out with them.”
She used the ID at bars and restaurants. Only once did a server comment about the photo. Cioffo recalled ordering a drink at an Olive Garden. The waitress said she looked different than the picture. But she served the underage Cioffo the requested drink, no questions asked.
Cioffo is one of legions of underage undergraduate college students who use fake IDs to gain access to establishments that sell alcohol.
IUP student Kayla M. Cioffo describes how she acquired false identification, April 8, 2014, Stapleton Library. Video by Lexa Smith.
A non scientific online survey of student use of fake IDs for a June 2013 article in Her Campus, an online magazine, reported that 50 percent of college student respondents nationwide said they have used a fake ID; an additional 4.5 percent said they have one now.
Preliminary results of a more detailed study published Oct. 17 by the University of Maryland School of Public Health found that two thirds of 1,015 college student participants in the four year study used fake IDs. (For details, fake id maker online see sidebar, below.)
If two thirds of IUP’S 12,471 fall 2013 undergraduates possessed fake IDs, they would number more than 8,000.
YET the consequences of using fake IDs are seldom seen here.
In recent years, the number of people cited by police for using fake IDs declined, according to the Indiana Magisterial District Court, even as community concern over student drinking increased. In calendar year 2011, the court heard 21 cases involving possession of false identification; in 2013, the number dropped to 14, a decline of 33 percent.
As of June 6, the court reported five such cases for 2014, scannable fake id a continuation of the downward trend.
But anecdotal reports from bar bouncers suggest that police data may understate actual fake ID use, especially during annual weekend campus revels such as fall Homecoming and springtime IUPatty’s.
“On IUPatty’s, we confiscated about eight fake IDs, which is above what we get on a normal weekend,” said William C. Pratt, an IUP senior criminology major and Twisted Jimmy’s Bar Lounge bouncer, in an April 4 telephone interview. “But that’s just one bar.”
Websites promoting downtown Indiana bars list a dozen or more such establishments.
PENALTIES for underage people caught presenting fake IDs to buy alcohol are a $300 fine and 90 day loss of driver’s license for a first offense, said Indiana lawyer Robert S. Muir, student legal services attorney for IUP’s Student Cooperative Association, in a May 27 email interview. Under provisions of state law, the fine rises to $500 for a second offense with loss of license for a year.
However, Indiana Magistrate Guy Haberl usually applies lower fines in fake ID cases, according to a staff member in a June 6 phone interview. At the judge discretion, fake id reddit fines are $150 for a first offense and $300 for a second. Court costs of $141 also are assessed.
But at downtown Indiana bars, police rarely are summoned for fake IDs.
The policy at Twisted Jimmy’s is to advise patrons with suspected fake IDs that bouncers must call Indiana borough police for verification, said Pratt. Most patrons leave promptly. But if they argue, bouncers will call police, Pratt said. He added that he never has called the cops.
And what happens to the abandoned fake ID?
“If they leave, we just keep it,” Pratt said.
Some bar patrons said some bouncers do more than that.
Kaitlin A. Uniejewski, an IUP senior psychology major, said she never has used a fake ID and scorns students who do. But she said she has seen bouncers behave badly, too.
“I’ve seen bouncers giving back fake IDs after getting cash for them,” Uniejewski said. making using fake IDs a joke in young people’s minds.”
Senior IUP history education major Dillon C. Brinkerhoff said that shakedown scenario happened to him. A bouncer at a downtown bar confiscated his fake ID two years earlier, he recounted in a Dec. 1 interview at his Fisher Street apartment. But the bouncer offered to return the fake ID in exchange for $50. Brinkerhoff said he declined the offer and left.
Told of the alleged incident, fake ids Indiana borough police Cpl. Justin W. Schawl responded that no law requires bouncers and bar managers to inform police when a suspected fake ID has been used. But officers can become aware of fake ID use only if bouncers and bar owners contact them directly. And it would be “inappropriate” for any bar employee to cover up an illegal act.
“Indiana police want everyone to have a good time and have a positive college experience,” Schawl said in a Nov. 22 interview at the borough police station. “Our intent is to keep everyone safe while at the same time fulfilling our obligation to the community.”
A downtown bar manager and a downtown bar owner said they do award bounties for confiscated fake IDs. Sources at Wolfie’s Pub Club and The Coney say they award bouncers $20 for each ID.