The Michigan Liquor Control Commission recommends that when fake identification is discovered in bars or clubs, the ID should be confiscated and legal authorities should be called. However, in Ann Arbor and Detroit, this policy is followed to varying degrees.
“We keep all fake IDs and we confiscate up to 12 licenses a night, depending upon the day of week,” said Faith Wood, general manager at the Blind Pig on First Street.
Mike Iwaniw, manager of Score Keeper”s on Maynard Street, said his bar is more relaxed in their policies.
“If someone does not have a real ID, we will not admit them inside our bar. However, we do not take their IDs or call the police,” said Iwaniw.
“I think that it all depends on the owner some are nonchalant because they want more business or want their friends to come in, while others check it twice with two different bouncers,” said LSA junior Robert Brown.
Despite the different levels of enforcement, both bars are complying with the law, said Ann Arbor Police Department Sgt. Paul Curtis.
“It is not required for bars to call the police if a false identification is used, but most usually do,” Curtis said.
Sgt. Myron Blackwell added that a mere police presence often keeps students from using false ID.
“Police officers do liquor inspections where they will go to bars or liquor stores and walk around as a deterrent in order to stop underage people from buying alcohol,” Blackwell said.
Although Curtis said the AAPD does not frequently receive cases of minors using illegal identification, those caught trying to use a fake ID could be charged with a criminal misdemeanor and require a court date.
While few bars in Ann Arbor have even considered using bar code scanners to check IDs, scanners are already fixtures in the Detroit casinos.
Greek Town Casino Director of Security Gregory Gaskin said the state police are notified if a fake ID is used in his casino.
“We scan all photo IDs that have bar codes or magnetic strips. If not, we punch in the license numbers of older ones,” said Gaskin.
None of the bars currently use such scanners.
“We are considering scanning IDs, because fake IDs are becoming a bigger problem in society,” said Scott Greig, manager of the Necto on Liberty Street.
The Necto, formally the Nectarine, was sold last year, after a police investigation involving liquor law violations and drug sales.
Other clubs feel their current methods are efficient and accurate.
“I”m not sure that we are going to be scanning IDs. We are pretty diligent in our efforts to seek out fake IDs,” said Wood.
Kat Schotthoeser, a bartender in Detroit, echoed Wood”s sentiment.
“Nobody seems to use scanners around here. I really haven”t seen it too much in Detroit, and I think that there are too many different types of IDs that need to be checked,” said Schotthoeser, an employee of the Town Pump Tavern.
“I have never seen the police come or an ID taken away from any bars in Ann Arbor,” said LSA senior Jamila Stanton.