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Lawrence Police Department cracking down on fake IDs

Posted at 5:10 PM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 18:10:47-04

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The Lawrence Police Department is trying to put a stop to what they call an ongoing problem. 

Officer Derrick Smith with the department said every year it's becoming more difficult to see the difference between real and fake IDs. 

"If we do find somebody with a fake ID, the ID is confiscated and the person receives a citation for having a fake ID inside the bar," said Smith. 

Smith said the problem is one that is not going away. 

"It is a college town, so we do run into a lot of underage people using fake IDs," said Smith. 

The “Fake ID 101” information and enforcement campaign kicked off this week through a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation in an effort to reduce alcohol access to minors.

The campaign transpired from a collaboration between KDOT, Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Lawrence Police Department, Kansas University Public Safety Office and DCCCA.

The idea behind the campaign is to keep underage students from using a fake ID, or borrowing a friend or family member's ID. 

"The officers involved with this will go inside the bars and check IDs, and they'll check people in line," said Smith. 

Last week, Lawrence Police went to seven different bars and handed out 43 citations. Smith said those numbers are to be expected. 

Police visited Tonic, Granada, Louise’s, Brothers, Bullwinkle’s, The Hawk and The Wheel.

Violations were found in/around all but two of the locations. Most (30) of the violations occurred either inside The Hawk or in the lines of customers awaiting entry outside of the establishment. Bullwinkle’s had the second most violations. 

Rob Farha has been the owner of The Wheel for more than two decades. He said he can't believe the sophistication of fake IDs compared to years ago. 

The Wheel now videotapes everyone who enters along with their ID. Farha said it was a change the bar made to protect themselves from legal consequences. 

"We unknowingly do something, they've used false identification to get in, yet we're held accountable for it," said Farha. 

This was the first enforcement in Lawrence of 2018. Smith said police will do a handful every year.