Eight different agencies cooperated together in January 2008 to perform a sting operation with one purpose: to catch underage people in possession of fake IDs.
It is obviously an ongoing problem law enforcement officials are trying very hard to get under control. According to an article on the News 8 Austin Web site, Jimmy Zuehlke, of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, said, “We take fake IDs serious. There is zero tolerance on the usage of fake IDs.”
These cops as well as TABC agents are not playing around.
The police once again operated a sting Sept. 9, the first since the City of San Marcos extended its alcohol sales to 2 a.m. A small army of undercover cops including agents and officers from TABC, the San Marcos Police Department, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, Hays County District Attorney’s Office, Texas State University Police Department and other law enforcement agencies conducted “Operation Fake Out” and “Cops In Shops.”
The different offices and departments came together in order to bust minors holding fake IDs trying to purchase alcohol. Their plan was to try to catch underage drinkers before they even entered the bars. They spread along bars and restaurants on Hopkins Street as well as other locations in down town San Marcos, masquerading as employees, and customers. I think it’s brilliant.
Citations were given out during Wednesday’s sting.
“We want to send a message to these underage people that we have zero tolerance with these fake IDs,” said Sgt. Pete Champion, of the TABC, in an interview in San Marcos with KEYE-TV. “And, if you’re going to use them, you’re going to pay the consequences.”
What better place to catch underage drinkers than The Square in a college town surrounded by bars and with the Hays County Courthouse right in the middle. It does not get much more convenient than that. There are issues regarding underage drinking, and whether the legal age should be lowered or not is not really my concern. The law is the law and until it changes there will be consequences for breaking it.
Fake IDs are irresponsible and selfish. Establishments that fail to recognize fake IDs and accept them have the possibility of fines and the employee who sold alcohol can be given a class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor.
“I think it’s great just to keep underages not drinking in the bar,” Brian Almaraz, manager of Sean Patrick’s in San Marcos, said to KEYE-TV. “It’s something that we have to deal with and something that we are concerned about on a day in and day out basis. Every night we have to check IDs.”
It is not a smart choice to try and purchase alcoholic substances with a fake ID. According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Web site, minors who attempt to purchase alcohol are liable to face: a Class C misdemeanor and a fine up to $500 dollars, alcohol awareness class, eight to 40 hours of community service and/or 30 to 180 days loss or denial of driver’s license. Ouch.
Ammie Jimenez is an English junior.