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We Check-Digital Licenses Put End to Fake IDs? 6.7.2006

By Nick Colin

CREST HAVEN – Minors curious about purchasing fake identification in order to purchase alcohol, beware.
The county’s annual “We Check 21” program, held June 1 in a packed freeholder meeting room, educated a large number of bar and package goods employes and owners on the intricacies of the driver’s license and how to detect a fake.
“My work sent me here to get information that will teach us how to detect fakes and what to do next,” said Kimberly Banks, of Tony’s Island CafŽ in North Wildwood.
David Bregenzer, counsel to the director of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, spoke about underage drinking initiatives.
“The card-and-count turn-away initiative (in its fifth year) data indicates that a total of 410 youths were refused the purchase of alcohol over this Memorial Day weekend,” he explained.
There were 2,236 minors refused alcohol over the last four Memorial Day weekends, according to Bregenzer’s data.
He also informed the audience of the success of the Cops and Shops Program, which netted over 450 arrests last year.
That did not include those who didn’t even attempt to purchase alcohol due to prior knowledge of the program, he said.
Joe Vasil, Department of Motor Vehicles Document Fraud Unit supervisor, trained the audience on how to detect fake identification.
“You’re going to learn how to examine a document, how to use devices to authenticate it, and whether to take it from its owner,” explained Vasil.
According to Vasil, over 50 percent of the state’s registered drivers have the new digital license.
He pointed out five hologram symbols, ghost images, variable ultraviolet text, and other elements that can be checked to verify the legitimacy of the digital license.
“Don’t tell people what you are looking for (on the identification card) or they will know how to deceive you the next time around,” he warned.
The old state license, the easiest ID to copy according to Vasil, was replaced with the high-tech digital form in July 2003.
By 2008, all of the old licenses will be expired and every driver in the state will have a digital one which, Vasil reasoned, would further reduce the chance for fraud.
Underage drinking is punishable by a fine up to $500 as well as up to six months in prison, and up to a six-month suspension of driving privileges.
The program, in its 14th year, is sponsored by the county Municipal Alliances for the Prevention of Substance Abuse.
Contact Colin at: (609) 886-8600 ext. 35 or ncolin@cmcherald.com

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