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The majority of retailers want to do the right thing and avoid alcohol sales to underage persons. Youth, however, particularly those of college age, can be devious when in pursuit of alcohol. Many don't hesitate to use false or fake ID's, and unfortunately, technological advances have made high quality fake ID's relatively easy to create and even easier to acquire.
The use of fake ID's to misrepresent one's age, while attempting to buy an alcoholic beverage, is a violation of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. The possession, use, manufacture, or distribution of fake ID's is a violation of other state laws. The possession, use, manufacture, or distribution of counterfeit ID's - some of the high quality fake ID's cross that line — violates both state and federal law.
To counter the use of fake ID's by underage drinkers, the TABC has developed Operation Fake Out. Operation Fake Out is a cooperative venture involving the alcoholic beverage retailers, the TABC, the Texas Department of Public Safety, U.S. Secret Service and whenever possible, local law enforcement.
TABC agents with expertise in detecting fake ID's work alongside the employees of participating on-premises retailers. The establishment's doorman checks an ID presented and passes it to the TABC agent. The TABC agent re-checks the ID to detect tell-tale imperfections and then closely compares the person to the physical description and photo. Those found to be using fake or altered ID's are arrested and transported to jail.
Operation Fake Out provides retailers and TABC agents the opportunity to work together as a team to curb underage drinking. It also holds underage drinkers, especially those who use fake or altered ID's, responsible for their actions. It does so in a public way so that others might be deterred from acting similarly.
In addition, Operation Fake Out also generates operational intelligence that can help authorities identify and root out those who are endangering our children and undermining our national security by flooding the country with high quality fake ID's.