GBT.org illustration/ KATE FERNANDEZ
Generation after generation, teenagers have always found new ways to cause mischief.
One thing that has stayed constant is the undeniable demand of some teens for alcoholic beverages that are supposed to be unavailable to them.
The law in almost every state in the United States prohibits people under the age of 21 from purchasing alcohol, which provokes young people to procure these substances in other ways.
Every business that sells alcohol is required to check the identification cards of anyone who looks under the age of 35, but young people have adapted to this restriction by producing counterfeit identification, more commonly known as fake IDs.
“I’ve had a fake ID since the end of my junior year, and it’s easier to get away with since I already look older,” said a Granite Bay High senior boy who asked to remain anonymous. “(The ID) was $60, but the cost was totally worth it. I can use it in high school and in college.”
These cards are a hot commodity for many students, so the people who sell them can change high prices for them.
These ‘dealers’ are able to sell cards with fake barcodes and real photos of underage people, assuring the purchasers that they will almost certainly get away with buying whatever they want regardless of their age.
“Making the IDs is harder than one would expect,” said a former GBHS student – who requested anonymity – who makes and sells fraudulent identification cards. “It’s crucial that all of the IDs that I produce are fail proof because they could be traced back to me.”
Ultimately, many teens will find ways to go around the law to procure restricted substances.
At local supermarkets, it’s not unusual for young people to steal alcohol. In Granite Bay, the hotspot for this activity is the Safeway store on Sierra College Blvd., just a mile or so from campus.
“Lots of people from our school go to Safeway to get alcohol on the weekends,” senior and former Safeway employee Peyton Hulsebus said.
“(Using a fake ID) is better than the alternative, which would be to steal the alcohol,” a senior girl said. “At least we’re paying for it.”
Alcohol isn’t the only thing students are illegally buying, though. They also use their IDs to purchase drugs, paraphernalia and vape devices.
“I usually only use my ID to buy beer, but I also use it at the dispensary to buy high grade kush,” said a senior boy.
Further contributing to the vaping epidemic in the United States, fake IDs also allow young people to buy nicotine products.
Sometimes this fraud doesn’t go according to plan though, which can cause some serious repercussions.
“Once I attempted to buy alcohol with my older sister’s valid ID, and the employee took it and cut it up,” a junior girl said. “They also threatened to call my parents. Explaining to my sister that she had to go to the DMV to get a new ID wasn’t great.”