Oct. 19--BLOOMINGTON -- In his classes, BASSET instructor and Illinois State Police Sgt. Brian Copple tells bouncers, bartenders and convenience store clerks they've got it tough.
"You can go to any college campus and buy a good, fake ID. That makes things difficult for you," he said during an alcohol server training class last week at Heartland Community College.
Businesses risk fines and other penalties if they don't check IDs for underage patrons, but bar patrons caught using fake IDs to purchase alcohol can face a steep price, too, including loss of driving privileges for a year.
"Don't do it. It's not worth it," said Dave Druker, a spokesman for the Illinois Secretary of State's office.
Each year, the office collects about 600 fake or false IDs, he said. Fake IDs are shredded and genuine IDs that have been misused are sent to Secretary of State Police for investigation.
As a proactive measure, Secretary of State Police, with funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation, conduct their own compliance checks and informational courses for business owners.
Through its "Cops in Shops" program, Secretary of State Police last year conducted 52 business checks and issued 269 citations, including for underage consumption and unlawful use of a driver's license.
The program last focused on Bloomington in fall of 2012 and another stop is being planned for the area in the near future, Druker said.
Secretary of State Police also conduct classes for business owners through "Operation Straight ID" to teach them to better spot fake IDs. The program held 58 classes last year, Druker said.