Senators Johnson, Klein, Call For Tougher Laws Against Fake Id Makers

Craig M. Johnson

October 14, 2007

Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), joined Senator Jeff Klein, (D-Bronx/Westchester), Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, and representatives from the New York chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving today in calling for tougher civil penalties against fake ID makers that will make them think twice about providing minors with the means to purchase and consume alcohol.

The officials are championing the expansion of New York’s Dram Shop laws, which currently holds bartenders and clerks civilly liable for third party injuries and deaths caused as a result of providing alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, to include those who make and sell fake IDs to teens and underage adults.

This call to action was spurred by a startling report from Senator Klein’s office that shows the ease in which an underage person can purchase a fake ID in Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs.

“Access to these fake IDs is a train ticket away for Nassau’s children,” Johnson said. “Make no mistake about it: Putting a fake ID in a teenager’s hands is no different than serving them at a bar. The only way to stop access to this open-air black market is to make those who profit from these unconscionable activities accountable for their actions.”

Under current law, a person can be held liable:

n If a minor dies as a result of drinking on their property;

n If a neighbor’s property is damaged by persons or minors attending a party at your home or apartment;

n Although the above acts may or may not be covered under an individual’s homeowner’s insurance policy, an individual may still be responsible for costs not covered or beyond insurance policy limits. Parents and adults have a legal responsibility to insure the safety of underage persons while on their property or under their care, custody and control. Parents have a duty to monitor parties hosted by their children.

Klein’s 37 page report entitled, “Underage & At-Risk: Fake IDs & Underage Drinking in New York State,” details national and statewide underage drinking statistics. It also lays out DWI statistics across New York’s counties showing significant underage DWI problems and highlighting an appalling lack of enforcement on sales to minors in the New York City Metro area.

The report also details an investigation by his office in which investigators supervised underage volunteers as they sought out fake IDs at various locations around New York City, and even demonstrates the required information to obtain these forms of identification. At no point were the volunteers ever asked for proof of the information that would be printed on the cards.

Locations found to offer fake IDs included:

Camera Corner 119 15 Liberty Ave, South Richmond Hill (718) 843-9272

Maxi Photos Inc 8624 5th Avenue, Brooklyn (718) 680-3701

Memory Keeper Photo 147 W. 14th Street, New York, NY (212) 691-9047

Additionally, the report provides a list of the establishments that have been cited the most times by the New York State Liquor Authority/Division of Alcohol Beverage Control for selling alcohol to minors in Bronx, Nassau, New York, and Westchester Counties. Another key recommendation of Klein’s report is mandatory revocation of liquor and lottery licenses for businesses repeatedly selling alcohol to minors.