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Conway Criminal Law Blog

What are the penalties for using a fake ID to buy alcohol?

Throughout South Carolina, there are many tourist destinations and large-scale events where young people will be out and about. Often, this involves college students, but high schoolers are also frequent attendees.

Alcohol consumption is a frequent part of sporting events, beach holidays and simply being a college student. It is important to remember; however, that it is illegal for people under 21 to purchase alcohol. That does not stop them from trying and they must know the law and the possible penalties for doing so using a fraudulent identification that says they are of legal age.

What if I am accused of using a phony ID to purchase alcohol?

The college football season is underway and college basketball is coming soon. People will attend parties and try to buy alcohol. Since people under 21 cannot purchase alcohol, there is a chance that charges will be filed if they are caught using a fake ID to do so. This could be a driver’s license or other identifying documents that are used by sellers to verify a purchaser’s age.

If, for example, the purchaser has an altered identification that says they are older than they are and that age suggests they can legally purchase beer or wine when they cannot, they might be charged. Another way people try to purchase alcohol is by using another person’s identification. Simply giving the seller—a convenience store, a market, a liquor store—the false information is a violation. After charges and a conviction, they can be fined at least $100 and as much as $200, face 30 days’ imprisonment, or both.

College students arrested for buying alcohol while underage should fight the charges

Although underage people who purchase alcohol might not think the penalties are serious enough to dissuade them, they should be aware of the potential problems in the aftermath. They could find themselves dealing with other charges, such as having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, driving under the influence and more. College crimes like using fake IDs to buy alcohol can lead to issues at school. Their entire future could be hindered.

It may be possible to fight the charges effectively. The evidence could be limited or the charges may be reduced or dropped. When dealing with these allegations, it is imperative to consult with experienced professionals to try and reach a positive resolution.