DARIEN, N.Y. (WIVB) - Every year, News 4 reports on the high number of underage drinkers who receive citations at Darien Lake concerts.
But this year, a greater number of tickets are being written for fake IDs because the Department of Motor Vehicles has teamed up with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Deputies invited DMV investigators to start coming to concerts to help them bust underage drinkers using a fake ID or someone else's ID to help them buy alcohol.
DMV Chief Investigator Richard Ehlinger said, "Trying to sort out drivers licenses and fake drivers licenses takes a special unique information and ability."
The DMV investigators are inside the concert where the alcohol is served and they say it's a serious problem at Darien Lake concerts, which they want to address.
More on arrests at Darien Lake concerts:
- Brad Paisley arrests
- DMB arrests
- Bob Dylan arrests
- Man beaten at Kid Rock concert
- Toby Keith arrests (2012)
Chief Investigator Ehlinger said, "With my experience so far with the number of arrests we've made, I believe it was well over 140 at the last concert several weeks ago between the underage drinking and possessing fraudulent licenses, it's definitely a problem."
DMV investigators are specifically trained to spot fakes and utilize special tools to help spot discrepancies, even with IDs that contain holograms and other intricate security features.
"And then also interviewing the kids and catching them up in different information that's not on the license, such as county of residence for instance," Chief Investigator Ehlinger said.
Investigators will be back at Darien Lake in August to continue the crackdown. Though they have been at the venue in the past, being allowed inside where alcohol is being served has made a huge difference this summer.
Chief Investigator Ehlinger said, "It's probably always been a problem, we're just addressing it now with more resources. So we're discovering how in-depth of a problem it is."
DMV investigators say they are finding just as many people who are using someone else's ID as they are manufactured fakes. But with the crackdown, they're hoping fewer underage drinkers will try to sneak past security.
Authorities say underage drinkers are getting some fake IDs in Canada. But the majority are being ordered online from China. On one hand, that means they're easily accessible. But on the other, since they're coming from one source, investigators know exactly what to look for.
The most common punishment for using a fake ID is a fine.
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