Photo Credit: Lee Gatlin/file
Last weekend marked the kickoff of UGA's football season and the first real test for Athens-Clarke County's new underage consumption law, which grants officers the discretion to simply cite an offender or take them to jail like the good old days. So this weekend we all missed the sight of students standing on the side of the road with their hands zip-tied waiting for the paddy wagon. But the ACC police reports show an audacious new trend in the long tradition of fake IDs in Athens: Kids these days are simply taking Scotch tape, placing it over their date of birth and writing in the magic number to get them in the door.
• An officer was flagged down by a group of people outside of 100 Proof and was informed by an employee that an individual had tried to fight someone outside on the street. The officer grabbed the man's arm to stop him and get him to talk. When asked for identification, the individual removed an ID that appeared to have been taped or laminated. The officer noticed that his wallet had another ID, which looked exactly like the one he presented. After inspecting the license, the officer discovered it was not real and in fact simply taped to another card. The officer asked about the other ID and was handed a real Georgia driver’s license. The officer asked about the two IDs, at which point the 20-year-old Toccoa man said he never handed him a fake ID. He could not explain the reason for having two IDs.
• An officer on bike patrol at 2:45 a.m. on Sunday morning responded to loud music coming from the area of East Hancock Avenue. The officer discovered the music was coming from a parking deck, where the officer observed a group of five and a car radio playing loud music. The officer then observed one of two males in the group take a drink from a large bottle inside a brown paper bag. The man began to try to talk to the officer out of issuing the citation repeatedly. After receiving the citation, the 22-year-old Gainesville man ranted about how it wasn't fair. The officer warned him that he was released and he needed to go before he got locked up. The man continue to be belligerent and said, "fucking asshole," and was placed under arrest for public intoxication.
• An officer was patrolling College Station Road at 1:56 a.m. on Sunday morning when he made contact with a man who had the odor of alcohol about him. When he was asked to retrieve his ID, he presented the officer with a license with tape placed over the “6” in his birthdate and replaced with a penned-in “3.” The 19-year-old Lawrenceville man was issued a citation for underage possession or consumption and warned about altering his state ID.
• An officer patrolling the area of Clayton Street was informed by the owner of 90s Bar that a person who was drunk was trying to get into a vehicle to leave. The officer observed a male who was swaying from side to side, and his eyes were half shut. The man presented the officer with two different ID cards: a Georgia ID-only card and an instructional permit, neither of which allowed him to operate a vehicle. The man then opened his wallet again. The officer saw a third ID card and asked to see it. The officer could see that the third ID’s birthday area had tape on it, and the birthday had been altered. The 19-year-old Auburn, GA man was placed under arrest.
• Early Sunday morning, an officer observed a young male standing outside the outdoor cafe area of Bourbon Street. The officer asked for identification to write a citation for open container. The man first responded by saying that he did not have an ID on him. and was informed that he would be arrested because the officer had no way to ID him. The man produced a driver’s license revealing that he was only 18 years old. The license was altered with tape to misrepresent his age. The Savannah man was issued citations for both underage consumption and open container.
• Officers observed a man collecting items in the area of Lumpkin Street. When confronted by officers, he initially advised that the items were given to him, including a cone from the UGA Catholic Center, where the man claimed to be a member. Officers spoke with the Catholic Center, and he was not a member. The man advised he had been drinking, and some of the items, if not all, did not belong to him. In the man's wallet, officers located a second ID card with a different date of birth, which the man said a friend had made for him. The 19-year-old was issued citations for underage possession of alcohol and a fake ID, with the possibility that the owners of the stolen property could swear out warrants as well.