Fake ID’s responsible for binge drinking



A popular campus bar [Courtesy of Merchant’s Mile High Saloon]

DENVER- False identification (fake IDs) are nothing new on college campuses. They allow underage teenagers to purchase alcohol, and in certain states, marijuana, and attend bars. Students say if you know where to go, you won’t get caught.

Certain events such as spring break and music festivals lead to mass arrests of students when police forces crack down. At Coachella music festival in California this past weekend, more than a hundred underage festival-goers were arrested, including high profile actors and actresses. Police forces at popular spring break destinations seize thousands of fake IDs during spring break.

With a robust bar and nightlife scene, DU is not immune to fake ID usage. However, the consequences of fake ID usage can result in an uptick of binge drinking by making alcohol easily accessible to underage students.

According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “When traditional, robust risk factors of consumption are controlled, fake ID ownership meaningfully relates to heavy drinking in college.”



“Do you think there is a correlation between binge drinking and fake IDs?” “I don’t think fake ID’s have a direct correlation with binge drinking on campus”. -Marcus Dockerty, 19, first year, Sturm Hall, April 2016 [photo by Helen Filanowski]

Usage of fake IDs to illegally obtain alcohol is popular across the country. Some argue that binge drinking is an integral part of college “culture”. When asked whether fake ID’s were correlated with binge drinking, first year Marcus Dockerty said that there “is no direct impact on binge drinking”.

Camryn Dreyer, a first year DU student, however, believes that fake ID ownership has a positive correlation with binge drinking. When asked if she believed if there was a relationship between the two, Dreyer said fake ID ownership “definitely increases the likelihood of binge drinking.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, “college students commonly binge drink”. DU Campus Safety reports back up this claim. From Feb. 20, 2016 to April 20, 2016, there have been 14 separate incidents of breaking Colorado liquor laws by possessing alcohol while underage. To procure alcohol, students use fake IDs at liquor stores that are lenient, or befuddled by the fake IDs. If students get caught, they are documented by Campus Safety.

Furthermore, Campus Safety has apprehended 14 students in the span of Feb. 20 to April 20, 2016 for “forgery; criminal impersonation; unlawful possession or use of license”, referring to fake ID’s. The link between the reports of underage possession and use of a fake ID is evenly matched.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 9.17.53 PM

Sample entry in Campus Safety crime log. [Courtesy of University of Denver’s Campus Safety Department.]

When asked whether or not fake ID’s pose a safety threat to DU’s campus, first year


“What do you think are the consequences of getting caught with a fake ID?” “Students risk getting documented by Campus Safety for having a fake ID”. -Christine Stone, 1, first year, Sturm Hall, April 2016 [photo by Helen Filanowski]

Christine Stone said that “fake ID’s cause underage drinking”. She also said that “students use fake IDs to get alcohol and weed [sic]”.

Consequences for obtaining and using a fake ID at DU are hazy. Students, when asked, said that the most common punishment for having a fake ID is “getting it taken away by a bouncer”. However, none could point out the exact punishment delivered by Campus Safety or the Denver Police Department.



“What do DU students use fake IDs for?” “DU students use fake IDs to buy alcohol and get into clubs” -Camryn Dreyer, 19, first year, Sturm Hall, April 2016 [photo by Helen Filanowski]

Campus Safety did not respond to repeated requests for comments regarding potential consequences for students caught possessing a fake ID.

In order to decrease the ubiquity of fake IDs on campus and across the country, Campus Safety should outline their policies with regards to fake IDs.



2 thoughts on “Fake ID’s responsible for binge drinking

  1. Hey Helen! This was a great article; I liked how it was easy to read, informative, and had offered different points of view. I also think that this is a great topic since binge drinking on college campuses is such a big issue. I agree with the people who disagreed (like Marcus) however that fake IDs are not strongly connected to binge drinking. I think people who don’t have a reliable fake ID or have to go into clubs/bars with those “X”s on their hands identifying them as underage are more likely to binge drink. I think this is because these people are usually trying to get drunk enough before going out so that they could ride that wave long enough to last their entire night out without having to drink more. Anyways, great article!


  2. Great article Helen, I really enjoyed how it related back to the University of Denver campus life so nicely. We all know binge drinking is a current issue on many college campuses so this is a very relevant topic. Personally i do not think that fake ID’s are correlated with binge drinking because i know many people that use their fake ID’s for things like marijuana and just a small six pack of beer. There might be a correlation between how old someone is when they get their first fake ID and that could relate to binge drinking later on in their life or college career. Im very surprised that campus safety did not respond to questions about fake ID since it is such a relevant topic in and around the DU campus. Overall great read!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s