The prevalence of fake ID’s at DU

Many DU students use fake ID's to purchase alcohol and gain entry into local bars

College students under the age of 21-years-old are continuing to use fake identification in order to purchase alcohol and gain entry into bars despite the harsh consequences that are subsequent if caught with one.

The potential charges in the state of Colorado for possession of a fake identification can result in a felony, amount to fines up to $1000, and one year in jail if convicted.

Kristen Olson, director of the student conduct department at the University of Denver, said that the punishments through the University vary from case to case.

“The outcome that usually results from a student that is caught with a fake identification is two quarters probation,” said Olson, “But if a student is caught in the act of using the fake ID that can sometimes result in up to a year of probation or possible suspension.  If a student is caught two times with a fake identification through the school, criminal charges will be pressed on the student by the university.”


Many students at the University of Denver have become unaware of both the consequences of being caught with a fake identification by the school as well as with the police.

One 19-year-old male sophomore interviewed for this story was asked if he was aware of the Colorado state laws along with DU’s rules about fake identification and he simply had no response.

When given the facts about the consequences of being caught with a fake identification he responded, “I had no idea how much jeopardy I was putting myself into by using a fake ID  To think that not only my college career could be ruined, but it could also hurt me in the future when applying for jobs.”

A 20-year-old male DU sophomore was also asked if he was aware of the consequences of being caught with a fake identification and he had much more knowledge about the large downside of using a fake identification.

“I am aware of the consequences because I actually was caught with a fake ID one month ago by the Denver Police,” he said, “I now have both a court date, which I have to hire a lawyer for and I am now not eligible to study abroad, which is a huge let down for me and my family.”

Though there are not statistics that are directly correlated with the number of students that have fake ID’s at DU, it is apparent that a large number do.

The 19-year-old sophomore described the prevalence of students that have fake ID’s to be, “Extremely high.  DU is primarily a bar school for students under the age of 21 especially and it is the main social scene for students.  The Stadium, The Border, and Crimson & Gold are very popular for students that are under 21.”

The Stadium Inn is one of the several bars within walking distance of DU's campus that underage drinkers can gain entry with a fake ID

Kristen Olson backed up this students claim and said, “There are no steadfast numbers of how many students have fake ID’s but DU students are more likely to use them than most other schools.  I have worked at other schools and I have talked to other student conduct directors from other schools and the prevalence of fake ID cases is far higher here than a large amount of schools.”

Fake ID’s and technology

Gabriel Walker, a 21-year-old sophomore at DU, has seen the quality of fake ID’s progress since he was in high school.

“As technology has progressed, fake ID’s have only gotten better and better,” Walker said, “Kids are now ordering these ID’s online from countries like China and they are incredibly realistic.  They can both scan and pass a black light test, which can let them gain access into almost any bar especially around DU’s campus.”

Kristen Olson when interviewed for this story gave a piece of advice to students that are thinking about using fake ID’s and ordering them off of a website.

“Students need to understand that by ordering an ID off of a website is incredibly dangerous and there is no way of knowing what the person will do with your information,” Olson continued, “Just last year we had a situation where students were caught with ordering fake ID’s from a website based in China and we know for a fact that the website was making multiple copies most likely to help people gain entry into the United States illegally.”

Technology has had a big impact on the fake ID business and it has become easier than ever for underage drinkers to order them online.

“Generally when students are caught with fake ID’s they are asked where they obtained them and the answer is almost always from the internet,” Olson said.

Underage drinking and fake ID’s

Underage drinking has become a large issue in the United States and more than 4 in 10 people who start drinking alcohol before the age of 15 will eventually become dependent on alcohol, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Kristen Olson described that the use of fake ID’s, “Is just one more contributor to the problem we are having with underage drinking both at DU and the United States as a whole.”

Gabriel Walker also commented on the relationship between fake ID’s and underage drinking.

“Fake ID’s are definitely something that contributes to underage drinking,” Walker continued, “By being able to get into bars and purchase alcohol with ease, underage drinkers have a variety of ways to drink and DU students both have a wide range of bars and liquor stores that they can purchase alcohol illegally in this area.”

With underage drinkers being able to purchase alcohol with fake ID’s, there is an increased chance that these students will make bad decisions that could both harm themselves and others.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year from injuries caused by underage drinking.  This statistic includes injuries caused by car crashes, homicides, suicide, and also injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning.

Although there are no specific statistics of how many students at the University of Denver are using fake ID’s, it is apparent that there are many students using them to both gain entry into bars around campus and to buy liquor illegally, contributing to the many hazards of underage drinking.


Additional information on fake ID’s and underage drinking


3 Responses to The prevalence of fake ID’s at DU

  • Brendan Cronin
    Brendan Cronin says:

    This is an excellent article. Great job getting interviews with Kristen Olson and Gabriel Walker, those are perfect people to interview for accurate information. This seriously should be in the Clarion, because fake ID’s are a huge problem on campus. When I was looking at schools, everyone said DU was a bar school and that you needed a fake ID, but then no one really knew how severe the consequences can be. I would have made the “Mixed Drinks” part one the Stadium Inn sign picture more visible, but other than that I really cannot think of anything else to make it better because it was very informative and had very valuable information and sources included. Great job.

  • Cory Lamz
    Cory Lamz says:

    I enjoyed reading this piece and reading what Kristen Olson had to say about the prevalence of fake IDs and DU students. I thought it was interesting to read what the anonymous DU sophomore had to say too, since he was caught. On the whole, I know of at least one person getting caught for underage drinking and using fake IDs every year that I’ve been at DU. Olson was spot on when she mentioned the consequences that aren’t realized when people share their information – in fact, I wish that your piece focused on this a bit more, since DU students’ awareness of these risks is really low. I know of a person whose identity was near stolen because of ordering fake IDs.

  • Rhianna Dow
    Rhianna Dow says:

    Good article, very interesting. It is obviously an incredibly prevalent topic here at DU. I wasn’t aware of the harsh punishment given for fake ID’s. I think students here at DU need to be more educated on these punishments that result from the use and purchase of fake IDs.

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