SC: ID authentication app looks to reduce underage drinking in South Carolina
by Anne Emerson
November 21, 2019
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — An increasingly popular app is assisting law enforcement and trying to help cut down on underage drinking in South Carolina.
“A passport to a world of fun.” That’s what one online site promises teens looking score illegal alcohol if they buy their fake identification cards.
But that world can come crashing down when those teens drink and drive.
According to a recent report, 40 percent of high school students in the state have had an alcoholic drink in the past month.
Intellicheck CEO Bryan Lewis can spot realistic fake IDs because his company built an app for that. With the app, Lewis said, they can instantly tell if a license is real or fake.
The app is called Age ID. It was first used by the military, and now, four South Carolina law enforcement agencies, including Charleston Police, are utilizing it.
“All they need to do is scan the barcode on the back of the license and, with that, they will know within two seconds if its real or fake,” he added.
South Carolina statistics show one in nine high school students report they’ve driven after drinking.
Another 18 percent have gotten in the car with a driver who’s been drinking.
“You go out there and kill somebody drunk driving, you are looking at 25 years in prison per person that you kill,” explained ABC News 4’s Traffic Safety Expert Trooper Bob.
Part of the problem is how easy it is to access alcohol with a fake ID.
“It’s something that every kid knows about, and most kids have,” said Lewis.
A number of sites publicly sell fake IDs online.
Lewis calls it a massive problem that parents need to know about now.
“They sell these fakes that are so real, you can’t tell they are fake with the naked eye. All of the holograms, the microprinting, we are even now catching those real IDs that everyone has to go get to fly, they are already faking those,” said Lewis.
If a teen is caught with a fake ID, the consequences are also real.
In South Carolina, the child could face up to two months in jail and a fine. In New York, a fake ID charge is a felony.
“As parents, know where your kids are going, know who they are hanging out with, know what they are doing. Do not give alcohol, you have to be 21 years old to drink, especially in South Carolina,” added Trooper Bob.
The Age ID app is now being used by 65 law enforcement agencies nationwide, as well as by a number of retailers.