my name is Cindy and I would like to share my story with you.
When I was a sophomore in college, I made my first fake ID. I was in college and I was supposed to be having the time of
my life, but I felt like I couldn't go anywhere or do anything because of
my age. I was bored and
frustrated. My friends talked
about getting fake ID's, but most of them used their older brother's or
sister's or some had older friends that they looked like, yet these were
not options that were available to me.
friend and I started talking about making them.
It was just talk at first, but things got serious and soon enough
we had produced a fake ID. I
had told some friends about it and my 'partner' had told some of his
friends. Suddenly, a small
business had blossomed. It was an exciting time, and I thought it was a good way to
make a little extra money. I
didn't worry about getting caught because it was a small
"operation" between friends.
Who would tell on us?
my sophomore year was coming to a close, and my partner and I decided it
was best to quit while we were ahead.
Coincidentally, someone at our school was caught making fake ID's
and was kicked out. The story
was all over the school paper. I
also read a lot about colleges cracking down on fake ID's which was a
little scary. Certainly, I was getting nervous and felt there was no reason
to jeopardize my future, so I quit and focused on enjoying my summer.
wasn't until the end of my junior year that I would be haunted by my
mistake. My best friend was
at home for Easter break and was pulled over.
She and her friends were drunk and underage.
They were immediately arrested and taken to jail.
The police asked her where she got her fake ID, and she told them
she got it from school. Within
a couple of days, my school's police were questioning me about it.
She had told them everything, and there was no way I could lie about
was so scared, and I had no idea who to turn to.
I went to see the Vice President of Student Affairs hoping she was
going to tell me "it was going to be all right."
Everything always worked out for the best and I assumed this would,
too. Instead she suggested
that I notify my parents immediately and also to hire an attorney.
At that moment, I realized the severity of this case and I lost it.
I went home and cried for hours knowing that I would have to tell
my parents. Naturally, they
had no idea I made fake ID's and now I had to tell them that I was going
to be arrested for this crime which could potentially get me kicked out
of school and thrown into jail.
university police called and asked me to come in--I was going to be
arrested. I went to the police station where my mug shots were taken
and I was fingerprinted. For
the first time, I felt like a criminal.
In addition, I had to post a $100 bond in order to leave the
station. The court case was
set for the second week of June. I
was supposed to go to California for an internship which I worked all year
to get, but I had to give it up because I was going to start too late and
I didn't know what the repercussions from the case were going to be.
I was devastated, but I realized that I was suffering the
consequences for my crime. Luckily,
I was only charged with a misdemeanor.
I was fined, put on probation for six months, and I lost my driving
privileges for an entire year.
a legal standpoint, my case was closed, but my school still had not
punished me. I had to spend all of my summer worrying about what was going
to happen the next year--my senior year.
I was asked to leave school for a semester but decided to appeal
this punishment because I would not be able to graduate on time. I went in
front of a board comprised of my peers and professors asking them to
rethink the punishment. Two
of my closest friends came and acted as character witnesses trying to
prove that I had just made a stupid mistake which I had already paid for
and was still paying for.
was a bit embarrassing and scary to be judged by these people, but they
believed that I could make a difference through community service which is
why I'm sharing my story with you. In
the end, I have spent about two thousand dollars on lawyers and fines. I
have spent countless hours thinking and rethinking my mistake.
The worst part is knowing that I worried my friends and family. They were very supportive throughout the ordeal, but I put
them in a terrible position. To
top it off, I almost jeopardized my diploma and my future.
knew all the laws and the possible consequences, but I thought I was
invincible. Sadly, I learned
that I was not. Looking back,
I know that I learned a lesson , but I fully regret my actions.
College is supposed to be a fun time.
It is a time to learn, to grow and to prepare for your future.
I worked all through high school to get into college, but robbed
myself of a great experience. I
hope that by sharing my story I can save you from making the same mistake.
-Printed with permission from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission