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Friday, October 24, 2014 | Last updated: 2:20pm

New ID law could prove inconvenient for over-21 students



A new state liquor law could create some inconvenience for students and bars around campus this fall semester.

Last week, a law went into effect which states that a vertical driver’s license will no longer be accepted as a form of age verification for anyone purchasing alcohol, even if the holder is over 21 years of age. However, there is a 30-day grace period allotted to change your license from the vertical ID to the horizontal ID after turning 21. This law applies to driver’s licenses and all other state-issued identification cards.

Bar owners near campus are well aware of the new changes and understand that this transitional period will inevitably annoy some returning students.

“I think it will definitely cause a lot of confusion at first with all of the students until everyone gets all on the same page and understands how it’s going to work,” said Richard Fifer, general manager of Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co., located on the corner of Tyndall Avenue and University Boulevard.

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By Rebecca Marie Sasnett / Arizona Summer Wildcat
Jake Moore (right), international relations junior, informs Courtney Smith (left), cosmotologist, on Saturday that state issued vertical IDs are no longer accepted at the Auld Dubliner. The state of Arizona has put into effect a new law that requires drivers over 21 to have a horizontal ID and bars will no longer be accepting vertical ID's.

The bar has been serving UA students since 1971 and has continuously been a popular destination among students who are old enough to drink. Employees at the bar are optimistic that, come the end of August when school starts, students will be aware of the new changes through social media efforts taken by their bar and others in the area.

“We definitely will use social media and even do a little paid advertising as well,” Fifer said. “We are going to kind of push to our audience and advertise and market the new laws so that when school starts and everyone comes back from the summer time, they know we aren’t going to accept some of these IDs that are coming through the door that we normally would before this month.”

Sgt. Filbert Barrera, public information officer at the University of Arizona Police Department, said UAPD isn’t expecting much of a difference, if any, in the way it goes about handling situations involving identification and believes the overall effect of the law change will be very minimal.

“Students have to prepare,” Barrera said. “You can’t just go out and expect to have a good time; you need to make sure you have your identification, you have the correct one and it’s acceptable.”
He said it’s believed that this new law can combat the problem of forged IDs in the state and, specifically, around campus.

“There’s going to always be people out there who are going to want to market fake IDs to underage drinkers, and those people who make those fake IDs are going to cater to providing the most up to date driver’s license,” Barrera said.

Although fake IDs have been a problem in the past, it remains to be seen if this new law will have much of an effect, according to UAPD officials.

Barrera emphasized the serious consequences of students who are found guilty of attempting to purchase alcohol using a fake ID, such as sanctions made by the Dean of Students Office.

“The bars and other establishments who sell alcohol will need to pay attention to the IDs that are presented to them to purchase restricted items,” Barerra said. “I think the bars around the university are very diligent in their going about checking IDs, and it just needs to continue.”

According to Fifer, the bar sees a lot of fake IDs on University Boulevard.

“We have very strict policies and procedures with the kinds of questions we are going to ask people starting with height, weight, their addresses, their horoscope signs and things like that,” Fifer said.
Fifer said that he thought the new law change could improve efforts to avoid serving minors.

“The whole point to the law is to make everything a little more secure than it was before, so I’m fully supportive of it and I think in the long term, everything is going to be fine,” Fifer said. “It’s a little bit inconvenient, but as an extra safety measure, I’m OK with it.”


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