The Real Deal on Bar Raids and Fake IDs


Tuesday_Happenings Ever heard of Maggie’s Tavern? Unless you have been taking a few victory laps, you probably haven’t, because Maggie’s Tavern was shut down in 2009 after the State Liquor Authority and city police raided and found numerous liquor license violations. Although raids like the one that shut down Maggie’s have dried up since funding from the state for Operation Prevent, a program that backed bar raids, there have been rumors swirling about this past week about the possibility of raids taking place here on campus.

It seems like these rumors spread to the majority of the campus by last Thursday, since usually popping locations such as Harry’s and DJ’s were uncharacteristically quiet. Sophomore Agnes Buczek decided to take her chances on Thursday, but reports finding both locations dead. “There were only about ten people, and everyone else on Marshall street was going to Lucy’s," Agnes says.

When contacted, both Syracuse DPS and the SUPD said they had no one who could confirm that bar raids would be happening this weekend. It seemed like the underaged sector of the student body decided to err on the side of caution anyways and protect their investments aka their fake ids.

Fake IDs are something that seem like a necessity on campus, especially in the winter months when students need reassurance that the people they went out with first semester still exist and aren’t snowmen yet. Tactics for getting ID’s vary. Some students luck out and find friends or family members with similar enough faces who allow them to use their license’s to dupe the charming men at the door, while others put their faith in what can be slightly sketch websites.

Most of us don’t give a second thought to using fakes, as Syracuse bars are not known for confiscating or caring that much about such usage. It’s rare to hear of a student getting in trouble for the use of a false ID, so the consequences are not a conversation topic. In light of the recent rumors, however, here are a few clarifications for those bar lovers who just can’t stay away.

The punishment for getting caught with an ID can vary, and the officer who catches you has different types of charges they can apply. First of all, section 392-A of the Vehicle and Traffic Laws makes it illegal to just purchase a fake identification card, and a first violation of this is a misdemeanor. A second within five years is a felony. Along with this, you could be charged with penal law 170.20, which is “criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree.”

Along with the actual possession part, this law reads, “ A person is guilty of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree when, with knowledge that it is forged and with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another, he utters or possesses a forged instrument.” The person you are knowingly “defrauding” is probably just the guy at the door or Chuck’s, but if you get slapped with this, you're charged with a class A misdemeanor, which can actually mean legit jail time. And no, not like Nicole Richie’s 82 minute sentence. Your experience will be more like Piper Chapman’s in the beginning of season one of OITNB.

All of these laws are pretty depressing, as no one sets out for Thirsty Thursday with words like “fraud” and “misdemeanor” floating through their heads. But when on a night when pong and frat basements just aren’t doing it, taking your chances might be the only option.