Fargo's Liquor Control Board discusses ways to crack down on fake IDs

(Fargo, ND) — The City of Fargo continues to explore ways to crack down on the amount of fake IDs being processed into local liquor establishments. The fake IDs are leading to a number of underage citizens being served alcohol in the city.

On Wednesday, the Liquor Control Board heard a presentation from Tom Volk, a prevention administrator with the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS). Volk works directly with the Behavioral Health division at NDHHS. Volk said the state has been working around the detection of fake IDs and the use of forensic scanners “for quite a few years.”

“We know, through surveys, that approximately 32 percent of our youth, under the age of 21, are using fake IDs to purchase alcohol and other products,” he said. “On top of that, why it’s concerning is that these youth who possess fake IDs are consuming alcohol at greater rates, and seeing greater consequences from that consumption.”

Volk said the consequences range anywhere from fights to more serious cases, such as sexual assaults or death.

He presented the board with two types of ID scanners — a barcode and a forensic scanner. He said the department has, more recently, been promoting the forensic scanner more often.

“What we are finding is that they (barcode scanners) are no longer accurate in detecting fake IDs,” Volk said. The barcode scanners are only two-dimensional, whereas the forensic scanneres conduct a “40- to 50-point inspection on the ID” and looks at multiple security features on the ID itself.

The forensic scanners have a 98 percent accuracy rate.

The board made no recommendations, but Chairman Dave Piepkorn said the discussions will continue.