A pair of 20-year-old University of South Carolina exchange students from Hong Kong made their way to the front of the line at Latitude 22, a bar in Five Points, one Saturday night in February.
The two women, who asked that their names not be used, presented their “IDs” to the bouncer at the door. But instead of drivers’ licenses, they held up their cellphones. They had pictures of digitally altered passports to show they were 21.
The bouncer looked at the first phone, took a quick glance at the second and waved both students in. Their altered documents also got them into two other bars earlier in the night, Five Points Saloon and Breakers, the women said.
Underage drinkers armed with fake IDs are the new norm in Five Points, according to interviews with students and bar managers.
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“I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t have a fake, unless they lose it,” said Sophia, a 19-year-old USC student who asked that her last name not be used. “And then they’ll just ask friends if they can borrow one or use their duplicate.”
The trend might help explain the increasingly rowdy party scene that merchants and neighbors say is damaging the entertainment district.
It might also be a contributing factor to the spike in first-year USC students — the vast majority underage — who admitted to drinking in bars. Their ranks nearly tripled from 2012 to 2014, according to a new USC study, to 39 percent.
Bar owners and managers say spotting fake IDs has become nearly impossible because the quality is so good.
But students say many bouncers aren’t even trying. google
For many underage students hoping to enter a bar, they say their path to legitimacy goes through a popular Philippines-based website, ID God, which boasts of “high-quality IDs at an affordable price” and the chance to “have a great time with your friends!” ID God even includes a duplicate ID in case the buyer loses the first one.
To get a new driver’s license shipped to their doorsteps, several students interviewed by The State said they simply followed the guidelines for taking a photo of themselves and wired about $100 to ID God. Efforts by the newspaper to reach the company were unsuccessful.
Not that a quality ID is necessary. Several students said they don’t even need to look like their ID photos to gain entry into many Five Points bars.
Meagan, 20, and Lindsey, 19, who both agreed to be interviewed under the condition that their last names not be used, say they routinely use copies of the same fake ID.
At first, the pair say they would enter bars separately to avoid raising suspicion. Eventually, they noticed people working the door didn’t care.
“Honestly, if you have the same color hair (as the picture on the ID), they don’t really take a second glance just because a lot of the bouncers are college kids themselves,” Sophia said. “A lot of bouncers just glance at it. They don’t really even study it.”
Once inside, people are free to buy alcohol all night without showing an ID again. best search