It’s September and you’re sending your children off to college. This is likely the first time in their young lives that they get to experience independence away from home. You trust that they’ll do their best to make good decisions throughout the school year.
While it’s important to let your children go into the world and make mistakes they can learn from, it’s important to educate them on the risks of using fake IDs. Unlike the movies, a student caught using a fake ID creates an unfunny situation.
Whether your underage son or daughter attends UND, NDSU, University of Minnesota-Crookston, Bemidji State, or a community or technical college, it’s important they know the risk. Neither North Dakota nor Minnesota take lightly the creation or use of fake ID's.
In Minnesota presenting a fake ID is a misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum fine of $100, up to $1,000. Creating a fake ID is a more serious crime, a gross misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $3,000 and up to 90 days in jail. The fine for using a fake ID is less of a concern than the blemish on their criminal record.
North Dakota penalties
North Dakota classifies use of a fake ID as a Class B misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to $500. Penalties double for a second offense and a third offense becomes a felony.
Never borrow or lend a real ID
It's also worth reminding your underage college student to never borrow a driver's license from someone who is 21 -- or to lend their ID to an underage friend -- for the purpose of buying alcohol or getting into a bar or nightclub. The liquor store or bouncer may not simply refuse service -- they may confiscate that driver's license and turn it over to police. Now two people are in trouble with the law - the license holder can be prosecuted, as well as the person misrepresenting their age.
A misdemeanor offense may not seem like a big deal, but it may have implications at the college. Depending on the code of conduct at each school, students may face disciplinary action related to fake IDs and underage drinking.
In a hurry to grow up
Many kids go off to college eager to make their way into the world. However, it’s important that they do so responsibly and stay away from using fake IDs to get into bars or purchase alcohol. Clerks, bartenders, and bouncers are all trained to spot fake IDs and could report your child to the police for using one. They will be 21 years old before they know and it’s best that they wait their turn.