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New licenses make it easier to spot underage drinkers in New York

Drinking has long been a part of the social lives of high school and college students. While some are able to avoid it until they are 21, for many, it offers a way to fit in, even if it is illegal. For many of these people, fake IDs allow fairly easy access to alcohol. Now, however, replicating New York driver’s licenses will become much more difficult.

This month, New York officials unveiled a new driver’s license design that will be used from here on out. The enhanced design incorporates more than 30 new features that officials believe will make it extremely difficult to copy. What this means for young people, of course, is that penalties for underage drinking could become much more likely.

The new licenses will make things much easier for bar and liquor store owners. Anyone who is under 21 will have a vertical license that includes the date they will turn 18 and the date they will turn 21. The executive director of the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association acknowledged, however, that the new licenses will not necessarily prevent minors from using the ID of someone older who looks like them.

As we wait to see how the new licenses affect the rate of underage drinking, it is important to know that if you or your child has been arrested for underage drinking, there are ways to fight the charges. An underage drinking conviction can remain on an individual’s permanent record and affect educational opportunities. With the right legal guidance, an underage drinking charge or conviction can be removed from a young person’s record.

Source: lohud.com, “N.Y.’s new licenses add features to combat ID fraud, underage drinking,” Joseph Spector, Aug. 16, 2013