Underage students using fake identification to purchase alcohol
or gain entrance to bars may soon face harsher punishments for
their actions, according to a University legal advisor.

“The Ann Arbor Police Department has been touring the bars
for the last several months,” said Doug Lewis, Director of
Student Legal Services. “(And) they have been finding an
awful lot of fake IDs.”

Currently, a student using a fake ID receives a standard $200
fine or is given 25 hours of community service. After that, the
case is dismissed so that it does not appear on a students

“The city has decided it does not make that offer
anymore,” Lewis said of the current punishment for having a
fake ID. Lewis said city officials want to make it harder to
possess a fake ID, and that they want to implement harsher
penalties for those caught with one.

He said he will meet with judges tomorrow to discuss possible
changes to the punishment.

Lewis said he did not wish to disclose any other information or
specifics about the meeting until it had taken place. The AAPD
could not be reached for comment.

Keith Zeisloft, 15th district court administrator, said that he
was aware of a “group of fake ID cases that had come in front
of one of the judges” recently. However, Zeisloft said he did
not have access to any other information on a possible meeting or
sentencing change.

Music sophomore Levi Hyssong said he doesn’t think harsher
policies will stop underage students from acquiring fake IDs.

“I think students would just make (the IDs) better,”
he said.

Like Hyssong, LSA junior Tim Kaegi said he didn’t think
harsher punishments would produce the desired results. “Maybe
right off the bat (it would be effective),” he said.
“But after it would just linger off.”

Kaegi added that he got a fake ID during his freshman year to be
able to buy alcohol and get into bars. “We’re in
college. (Drinking) is too big of a problem to stop,” he

A study done in 2001 by the Core Institute surveyed 54,444
undergraduates from 131 different colleges reflects the prevalance
of drinking on college campuses.

The study found that males in their freshman year have about
nine drinks a week, compared to males in their senior year who have
about 10 drinks each week — demonstrating no significant
difference in alcohol consumption between students who are legally
allowed to buy it and those who aren’t.

A number of students pointed out that fake IDs were often
pointless because older friends purchase alcohol for those not yet
old enough to buy it.

Engineering junior Mike McDonald added that getting into bars
was easy for him because he had older friends that were DJ’s.
He said he did not think increasing the severity of punishments was

“If I tried to buy a gun without an ID you can slap me
with whatever (penalty) you want,” McDonald said. “But
if I’m buying a couple of Bailey’s, what’s the
harm (I’m) doing here?”

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