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Archive for Saturday, February 26, 2011

No Faking: Lawrence police cracking down on bogus IDs

Coalition uses KDOT grant to fight underage drinking

Doorman Caleb Blakesley, 24, cards Joni Weinert, 22, Friday at Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. Second St.

Doorman Caleb Blakesley, 24, cards Joni Weinert, 22, Friday at Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. Second St.

February 26, 2011

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Fake ID AD on Facebook

Fake ID AD on Facebook

Inside Fake ID 101

• Who’s on the New Tradition Coalition: Advocates against drug and alcohol abuse, law enforcement, local school and health officials, plus parents.

• Who’s looking for fake IDs: Lawrence police, the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control, the KU Public Safety Office and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

• How it’s funded: The Kansas Department of Transportation has awarded a grant.

• The education component: In addition to posters and ads, the coalition also used Facebook ads about fake IDs to direct attention to its website to give youths and parents more information.

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Fake ID 101

Lawrence police officer Trent McKinley talks about the Fake ID 101 operation area law enforcement agencies conducted in September through December 2010 to crack down on underage drinking. Enlarge video

The Facebook ad targeted Lawrence area youths who might be looking for a fake ID.

Apparently, the power of advertising works.

A total of 5,247 people between the ages of 16 and 20 clicked on the ad that featured a fake ID using the character “McLovin’” from the movie “Superbad” during a 60-day period last semester.

But instead of getting a chance to obtain a fake ID that could be used to try to buy booze at Lawrence liquor stores and bars, people who clicked on the ad were directed to a website: the New Tradition Coalition of Lawrence, which combats alcohol abuse and underage drinking.

Coalition members said interest in the Facebook ad clearly illustrates the demand for fake IDs and the prevalence of underage drinking in Lawrence, particularly among Kansas University students.

“That bothered me because that many kids actually clicked on it because they were thinking they were going to get a fake ID,” said Jen Jordan, director of prevention for DCCCA. “We know that underage drinking is an issue in Lawrence and at KU and other colleges. We’re just trying to address it.”

Among the efforts is a project dubbed Fake ID 101.

Last spring — in the first installment of Fake ID 101 — enforcement tactics were a bit too obvious, said Trent McKinley, Lawrence police’s neighborhood resource officer. There was little doubt among underage drinkers what was happening when uniformed officers entered bars to check IDs.

“That’s pretty easy for kids to defeat,” McKinley said. “So we tried to change it up a little bit.”

In last fall’s second installment of Fake ID 101, coalition members and law officers expanded their reach. And they saw results.

Stepping it up

Here’s how it worked:

• Uniformed officers did traditional bar and restaurant checks.

• Officers in plain clothes spread out, checking out people as they entered bars and working as liquor store clerks, checking IDs. The coalition also trained servers and liquor-license holders on spotting fake IDs.

“Even those really great looking fake IDs, when you run them through the computer, they can come back to an 85-year-old person who may be deceased,” McKinley said.

• Officers made traffic stops.

• They were out on foot, patrolling Kansas University and the Oread neighborhood on football game days.

• They targeted parties in houses or at apartments, said Karen Price, an agent with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The variety was important.

“They never knew what night we were going to do it and especially what we were going to do,” McKinley said.

And having officers in plain clothes was key. In a bar, for example, an underage patron might walk away from his or her beer and hide in the bathroom while uniformed officers checked IDs. Once the uniforms leave, the underage patron goes back to the alcohol.

Here are results from the nine nights that officers were out last fall:

• Checked 731 people’s IDs.

• Wrote 105 citations to minors in possession of alcohol.

• Wrote 60 citations for fake IDs.

“I think people were more apprehensive about going out and trying to use a fake ID and trying to go and consume alcohol in a bar,” McKinley said.

During the first Fake ID 101 last spring, officers went out four nights and cited 37 people for a total of 48 violations involving alcohol.

The future

Rick Renfro, who owns Johnny’s Tavern in North Lawrence, said nonuniformed officers visited his bar three times in a three-week period.

“They kept us well-informed of what they were going to do,” said Renfro, a member of the New Tradition Coalition. “They gave us good educational materials. That’s what it’s all about.”

He said the operations can be helpful because it’s hard for bars to catch every person using a fake ID.

“Even though we try to educate all of our door guys, and even though we try to pay more than the minimum wage and threaten them with losing their jobs, it’s impossible — they’re college kids,” Renfro said.

While he supports efforts to educate students and parents about underage drinking, he believes the best solution is to lower Kansas’ drinking age.

“I think everybody’s just spinning their wheels until we tackle the main problem, which is the actual age itself,” he said.

Shane Millhouse, a 21-year-old KU student, said he thought fake IDs were “very easy” for underage students to get, usually if someone of age misplaces their driver’s license in public.

He has seen only one person at a bar caught with a fake ID and said it was a difficult problem for police to get a handle on, unless they had officers in plainclothes in bars or were checking IDs at the door themselves.

“That’s about the only way to control it,” Millhouse said.

Teach your children

The idea behind the coalition is about more than just enforcement. Jordan, with DCCCA, said she encourages parents to talk to their children about alcohol when they are in junior high because data indicates some students can start drinking as early as 13 or 14.

“It’s never too late, but it’s also never too early,” she said.

The Kansas Department of Transportation has agreed to fund a third Fake ID 101 in Lawrence next fall. Already, coalition members are planning.

“I think each time we do it we’re getting better and better at how it’s done,” Jordan said, “and working together.”

Comments

mkozak12 3 years, 1 month ago

Education is the answer, not punishment. Let younger kids drink and learn their limits before they leave their parents roofs. They get put in a position to be able to go out and live on their own and their whole life are told they can (or are not supposed to) do something what do you think they are going to do?

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Christine Anderson 3 years, 1 month ago

Oh, this brings back a funny memory. I was 16, down here for music camp. Older sis was 21, and my now bro-in-law took us to the West Coast Saloon. They bought me a beer-damn it was gross. A nice blush wine is much better. Ordered food also. As we were leaving, the bouncer says, "I.D.'s next time, ladies (plural)." I thought he was a cop, so I blurted out, "I'm sorry-I just turned 16, but she's 21". My sister is still mad-this was 30 years ago.

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Ryan Wood 3 years, 1 month ago

If these kids are trying to have the greatest fake ID in Lawrence history, just give up. Mine was absolutely amazing.

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Romans832 3 years, 1 month ago

"While (Renfro) supports efforts to educate students and parents about underage drinking, he believes the best solution is to lower Kansas’ drinking age.

'I think everybody’s just spinning their wheels until we tackle the main problem, which is the actual age itself,' he said."

Mr. Renfro, what is the actual age which will lower attempting to obtain a fake ID to ZERO? Further in the article it says, "Data indicates some students can start drinking as early as 13 or 14." So if the legal drinking age is 18, will kids 14, 15, 16, 17 be trying to get a fake ID?

I say the main problem isn't the age, but a problem with dealing with rules/authority (God said no, Adam and Eve said nobody is going to tell us what to do/not do). Some people settle that authority question relatively early, some never do.

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nomansland 3 years, 1 month ago

You can go fight in a war and die but can't drink at the age of 18. It should be lowered back to the way it was!

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Soapbox 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm 53 and in all these years they still haven't caught me!! ha ha

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ralphralph 3 years, 1 month ago

When we outlawed 3.2% beer at age 18, we created a generation of dope smokers and whiskey drinkers. Oh, the unintended consequences.

We have taught our children that everything is a "drug" ... alcohol is a drug, nicotine is a drug, etc., and succeeded in convincing them that there is no difference. I'd rather have my kids "experimenting" with 3.2 Coors Light than meth, but we've told them it's all the same.

I do agree, as well, that Americans become "adult citizens" at age 18, and to impose these arbitrary limitations on those aged 18-20, because older people think it's for their own good, really is an indefensible act, Constitutionally speaking .... but those Constitutional limits are so "last century" anyway.

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macon47 3 years, 1 month ago

this seems to be a terrible waste of police resources i would suspect they would have better things to do that worry about underage drinking like crime?

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Vinny1 3 years, 1 month ago

Lets see here.....at 18 years old a person can - Buy a gun. Fight for our country in a war Buy tobacco Drive Live by themselves at college LEGALLY be considered an adult and be independent.

Yet somehow its not okay and they are not responsible enough to drink?

The US in general has this totally backwards.

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govh8ter 3 years, 1 month ago

Would you rather these kids (18-20) go out and buy guns or try to get in a bar and have fun with their friends? I think if they can buy guns they should be able to buy beer!

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Roland Gunslinger 3 years, 1 month ago

Shhh! Don't tell Kris Kobach that there is such a thing as fake IDs... he'll amend his bill to mandate genetic testing to prove citizenship and identity.

But nah, a person intent on committing voter fraud would never create a fake ID to do it. Why that's absurd!

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Kontum1972 3 years, 1 month ago

the new head of the PD is no boob like Olin.....he will get results..Smitty why don't u email him and ask him when he plans to get on the big issues...i am sure he will appreciate citizen input, and he wont blow u off...since you are paying his stay here, with your taxes.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

"A total of 5,247 people between the ages of 16 and 20 clicked on the ad"

This is being reported as a fact? How did the writer know that every single one was between those ages? Not a single one of them was younger than 16? And no one that was older checked it out for a younger friend?

And, no one was wondering what is going on here because it's against the law to sell a fake ID, and that not one single KBI agent checked up on the offer for an item that is illegal to possess?

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smitty 3 years, 1 month ago

Photo caption: Lawrence police officer Trent McKinley talks about the Fake ID 101 operation area law enforcement agencies conducted in September through December 2010 to crack down on underage drinking.

September to December operation......exactly coincides with the "uhh retirement, uhh " of Olin.

The first act of Khatib of many small changes to correct Olin's mismanagement of his duties and staff. Will Khatib get to the big issues?

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mae 3 years, 1 month ago

I should say a bar ID I guess.

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mae 3 years, 1 month ago

A college student that can't make a fake ID at high school doesn't belong at KU.

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Bozup 3 years, 1 month ago

the real suckers in this case is the Lawrence Police Department and The public. Bar owners don't want this, but will comply to keep his/her business going. This just means less money coming into the bar and more money paying staff. Public is out with less officers out patrolling and money we use to support this program. This has to be worse than trying to fight the war on drugs. And look how well that has worked out. Instead throwing money and resources at problem maybe we should tackle the issue and address the law itself.

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sloppyscience 3 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations to all the Molly Hatchets, I hear college students don't want to drink anymore. Well done. Now let's spend money making kids like homework.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 1 month ago

Things have changed. In the old days, you just knew where you could get into or where you could not get into without ever showing an ID. One trick too for the strip mall bars: check the back door. I was successful at that a few times.

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conservative 3 years, 1 month ago

5000 clicking on the ad doesn't mean that many wanted an ID. Most people prolly clicked on it to see how idiotic the person was who thought he could advertise something illegal and get away with it. Ask any business and they'll tell you that a web page hit doesn't equal a sale.

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Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

What a waste of police "person" hours. Total waste. Incredible.

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Beer Guy 3 years, 1 month ago

In alot of places around the world they don't have drinking ages. I've visited one and alcoholism seemed to be less of a problem. A person's age is so arbitrary. The problem is not age, its our society and culture telling us its cool to be piss wasted.

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deec 3 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if they can use their fake ids to vote!

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