'Novelty' ID cards for bars easily available to minors
Published Thursday, January 3, 2013 6:43PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 3, 2013 9:25PM EST
Minors who want to go to a bar or buy liquor are finding ways to do so by using inexpensive, fake ID cards that can be easily bought in multiple Toronto stores.
They’re called novelty ID cards and they’re usually copies of licenses or photo identification from different provinces, with a few small differences, such as font choice, photo size and the absence of small codes.
Because the fake IDs are sold as novelty pieces they aren’t illegal, Det.-Sgt. Gord Whealy of the Toronto police said.
“There are subtle differences which makes it not a forgery, but a fake novelty identification,” said Whealy.
“It is fake ID, it’s not forged ID. And people are using that to try and enter into licensed establishments or purchase liquor, which creates a problem if we’re dealing with young people,” he said.
CTV’s Ashley Rowe was able to buy a novelty ID from a store on downtown Toronto’s Yonge Street in just 20 minutes.
The ID resembles a licence from Saskatchewan and cost her just $50. The store’s salesperson promised Rowe that the ID was “one of the best.” At the same time, a minor also bought the same type of ID.
When minors are caught trying to use a fake ID illegally they can face a range of fines. When bars are caught letting minors into their establishments or serving them alcohol, they can have their liquor licences revoked.
Security guards say the fakes are easy to spot, but one experienced waitress told CTV Toronto she’d have problems seeing the differences in Rowe’s fake Saskatchewan ID.
“If you handed me this I’d be like ‘Yeah, here you go, what kind of beer do you want,’” she said.
Serving minors alcohol is the number one infraction police and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario deal with at bars.
The AGCO said there were 148 incidences of minors being served in Ontario in 2011.
Whealy said parents should talk to their children about why novelty IDs are not OK.
“You really should be discouraging it so that they’re not trying to use it to get into licensed establishments, which increases the risk of drinking and driving, increases the risk of drug use and increases the risk of getting into trouble with police,” he said.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Ashley Rowe