FAKED OUT: How old are they really? - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

FAKED OUT: How old are they really?

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
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'Tis the season! Tassels crossover, caps go soaring through the air and, of course, graduation parties are a part of the pomp and circumstance.

Often, alcohol is flowing at these celebrations and one too many times minors are the ones bringing the booze. And they are the ones buying it.

"10% of ID's that we check are absolutely fake," said Victor Pittman, "It's a real simple process" 

Pittman, owner of Silver Leaf Wines and Spirits in Ridgeland, says he is serious about busting underage buyers and that's why he bought a tool to help catch them in the act. 

Age ID by Intellicheck is what Pittman uses to catch fake ID's that come into his store. 

"Let me tell you out of the apps that we've downloaded, the accuracy rate was very dismal. Taken the same pool, and using it with Age ID, we had 100% accuracy rate."

Pittman says he needed something like this software to get a closer look at a possible fake ID.

"The drivers licenses have become so sophisticated. They have the holograms, they have the signatures. Everything is in the right place," Pittman said. "To the naked eye it is the real thing."

Sometimes minors aren't always easy to recognize; especially young women.

In fact, he says they're the most common offenders. Now, the ratio of guys to girls is nearly the same.  

"Females now look a lot older than they did 10 years ago coming through the store," Pittman said. "It was a lot of male customers who were trying to buy products using a fake ID. It is now almost 50/50."

Checking ID's for those who look 25 and under is critical. 

One enforcement agency is playing a crucial role in keeping alcohol out the hands of minors.

Alcoholic Beverage Control Chief Rusty Hanna says in 2015 the agency made 161 fake ID arrests. So far this year, they've made 47.

This does not necessarily mean there has been a drop in the number of minors trying to pass bogus ID's, but rather how many his team can catch with a limited number of agents. 

"Fake ID's now are very prevalent. They're everywhere," Hanna said. "We have 24 people working 82 counties and when we go into college towns it requires a lot of manpower. It's not uncommon for us to seize 25 to 30 ID's in a detail."

Hanna adds if his agents could have access to software like AGE ID, it would be beneficial

Now that Pittman uses AGE ID, one quick scan affords him the opportunity to potentially save a life.

"To me to have a tragedy, for someone to go out and have an accident or something of that nature to take place, would be a travesty, and it would just be crushing to me personally to know that that product could have come out of my store and caused that damage." 

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