This is what happens when you use a fake ID at Darwin’s Liquors.
In December, the owner of Darwin’s Liquors was fined $7,500 for selling alcohol to minors. In order to protect his business and ensure authorities that he was obeying the law, the store’s owner had to buy the card scanning device shown in the video above for another $3,700.
Fines for liquor stores are cumulative and can eventually lead to the loss of a business’s liquor license, obviously a costly consequence.
Authorities sent undercover minors to purchase alcohol from Darwin’s on three separate occasions. The first incident did not result in a fine, while the second and third missteps cost the business $150 and $1,000 respectively. On the fourth occasion, the store sold alcohol to minors who presented fake IDs, but these particular customers were not sent by the police to expose the business. Instead, officers staked out the store and confronted these minors.
Public records show that the officers confronted 21 minors on nine separate incidences over the course of 17 days, and only four of them presented officers with fraudulent IDs. The rest exercised their right to refuse being searched.
“I was trying to keep [the owner] from getting in trouble,” said one of the customers who showed a fake ID to the police.
The last incident occurred on November 15th, but the authorities did not inform the owner of the store until December. According to Rhode Island law: “If the compliance check is a part of a general enforcement operation and results in the sale of alcohol to the minor, the manager of the retail outlet shall be notified within 48 hours.” Despite what the law might say, Darwin’s owner was not informed within two days, but instead received a letter over two weeks later.
Challenging a fine based on a technical jurisprudence problem is a process tainted by bureaucratic partiality. In other words, the Bureau of License, which administers these fines, is the same bureau that decides whether to renew a business’s liquor license.
Either way, if you try using your fake ID at Darwin’s, it’ll almost certainly end up in this cup.