Study Examines How Fake IDs Affect Alcohol Consumption Patterns

At this time of the year, college campuses here in Missouri and across the nation are buzzing with activity as students prepare for mid-terms, work part-time jobs and manage a busy extracurricular calendar. Not surprisingly, many of these students somehow manage to also make time for alcohol consumption. However, a new study shows that many of them doing so are not necessarily of the legal drinking age.

A group of researchers at the University of Maryland set out to examine just how prevalent both underage drinking and fake IDs were on campus, interviewing 529 women and 486 men — all of whom had consumed alcohol at least once prior to their freshman year — throughout their four-year college career.

The study, which is published in the most recent edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, found that roughly 66 percent of students surveyed had used a fake ID. Furthermore, this 66 percent used these fake IDs nearly 25 percent of the time they engaged in underage drinking.

As if this wasn’t shocking enough, the study also found that fake ID use often resulted in increases in both drinking frequency and quantity, and even presented an elevated risk of developing drinking-related disorders.

“[W]e showed that while false ID use wasn’t directly related to [drinking-related disorders] risk; it indirectly predicted increases in [drinking-related disorder] risk over time through its contribution to increases in drinking frequency,” said one of the primary authors of the study.

It is also worth noting that the study named certain factors that many of the holders of fake IDs shared in common. These included some of the following: younger ages for first drink, involvement in Greek life, off-campus living and more aggressive levels of thrill seeking.

What are your thoughts on this study? Does possession of a fake ID potentially lead a person down a dangerous path toward addiction?

If you have been charged with underage drinking or drunk driving, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced attorney who will explain your options, and fight to protect your future.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, “Fake ID use tied to high-risk drinking by underage students,” Oct. 17, 2013

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