Underage drinking is illegal in every U.S. state, yet young people still get away with consuming liquor thanks to fake IDs. Forged IDs can display fake ages and dates of birth, allowing underage persons to circumvent a liquor store’s age verification processes.
A study found that fake ID ownership is prevalent among underage college students, and a strong correlation exists between owning a forged ID and heavy drinking habits. But while it can be alarmingly easy to obtain a fake ID, it’s prohibited in most states.
In South Carolina, it’s illegal to own, produce, and sell fake IDs. Anyone caught utilizing or distributing falsified identification can face criminal charges.
State law on forged IDs
Per South Carolina law, it’s unlawful for anyone to sell or issue an ID card or document that purports to contain the age or birth date of the holder.
Anyone caught violating this law will face a misdemeanor criminal charge. On conviction, the person must pay a maximum fine of $2,500 and serve up to six months in jail.
If a minor is caught using a fake ID to purchase alcohol, they can also be charged for breaking state law. For a first offense, the underage person must pay up to $200 in fines and serve a 30-day jail sentence. If convicted of a subsequent offense, the person must pay as much as $500 in fines and serve up to six months in jail.
Underage drinking is an offense on its own, but attempting to purchase alcohol using a fake ID can lead to additional penalties. Minors and their parents should carefully consider their legal options because a conviction for fake identification usage can reflect negatively on a young adult’s record, even if it’s just a misdemeanor.