Sunday, January 07, 2007

Posting Up Underage Fraud

In today's NY Post, the paper launches a frontal assault on the underage drinking chicanery. In an article titled "Teenage Card Tricks" the paper documents just how easy it is to game the NYS DMV and get a phony driver's license: "They log on to the state Department of Motor Vehicles Web site and, for $15, order a duplicate of a driver's license belonging to an of-age relative or buddy."

Hello Homeland Security! This is an absolute outrage and just what is the state going to do about this? "A DMV spokesman said there is no plan to stop the program or make it more secure." The easy ways in which the state can be defrauded also outraged the Mothers Against Drunk Driving since the method could be used by drunk felons who have had their licenses suspended or revoked.

All of this fraudulent behavior has, of course been the focus of the counterattack that was launched by NYNA in its effort to get elected officials to get to the root of the under aged drinking epidemic: the fraudulent behavior of the under aged themselves (and not the clubs that have been victimized by this behavior).

As it turns out, the NYPD has been getting the message. As the Post also reports, "Police are cracking down on teens using fake IDs to get into nightclubs, arresting 106 kids in Chelsea's clubland since August." Even more encouraging is the fact that the police are actually arresting youngsters and holding them overnight in jail! As NYNA's Rob Bookman says, "That's a good start...For about a quarter of a century, there's been a complete ignoring of the rules."

The Post also focused a spotlight today on stores that sell phony IDs. On tattoo parlor provided a reporter with a realistic "perfect" Delaware ID for $150. Cops had been stymied in September when the store was apparently alerted to their operation, and refused to sell to the undercover officer. Still, all of this indicates that the police are taking this situation seriously and if state bureaucrats at the DMV can be made to comply with the effort, a reasonably good start will have been made in the campaign to curb underage drinking at city clubs.