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Spring Break? Leave your Fake, says Coalition for a Secure Driver's License


Panama City Beach, Florida, during spring breakPanama City Beach, Florida, during spring break (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of thousands of American college students will spend their Spring break from school on sunny beaches far from home. While most will be law abiding, hundreds a day will be arrested for DUI, vandalism, assault and other crimes. Many of these criminal offenses will begin with a fake ID, and proceed to rowdy alcohol abuse, followed by the actual arrests.

Spring Break Facts:

  • During spring break, the average male reported drinking 18 drinks per day and the average female reported 10 drinks per day. About half drank until they got sick or passed out at least once. (Journal of American College Health)
  • Alcohol is a fatal attraction for teens.  It is implicated in the three major causes of death of children and teens in this country. (National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism)

Underage spring breakers from across the country are inclined to be ignorant of the severity of penalties for use, or even possession, of a fraudulent identity document in Florida, where it is a third degree felony to possess a counterfeit driver's license or ID card. That means an underage student with a fake ID can be punished by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If you're over 21 and providing your own ID to a minor, you also face stiff penalties, including up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Alabama also has tough penalties for fake ID possession. This contrasts dramatically with states like Virginia, where it is a petty misdemeanor for attempting to buy liquor with a counterfeit driver's license.  

"Law enforcement and state legislators are recognizing the link between underage drinking and self-destructive behavior, including alcohol influenced assault and date rape," said Brian Zimmer, President of the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License. "A fake ID presents a legal risk to the person who uses it and the public safety risk to the innocent victims subsequently injured or killed by the deadly combination of youthful poor judgment and binge drinking.  Police need to make every effort to crack down on fake IDs and the counterfeiters who sell them."

In December 2013, operators of a counterfeit ID operation known as "Novel Designs" in Charlottesville, VA were sentenced to significant prison time. During their three years of operation, they produced over 25,000 counterfeit driver's licenses, including those of Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

"Bouncers and law enforcement will be on the lookout for these IDs," Zimmer added. "When packing your bathing suits and sunscreen for your week on the beach, we really recommend you leave fake IDs behind."

About the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License:

The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License is a 501 (c) (3) non-partisan, not for profit, crime prevention education public charity, supported by donor contributions from across the United States.

The CSDL slogan, "Working to protect the identity of every American", embodies our commitment to higher standards for both government and private entities that issue identity credentials, especially state agencies that issue driver's licenses and ID cards.  CSDL undertakes research projects addressing best practices for DMVs, compliance with federal laws and regulations, identity fraud prevention and related identity management topics. CSDL provides research results and educational programs to the public and to state and federal officials.  CSDL is a member of the Document Security Alliance and of the American National Standards Institute.

SOURCE Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License

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