Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don’t Let a Fake ID Ruin Your Big Break

  This post was written by Kai K. Harvey, sophomore Economics major at CU-Boulder 
The job hiring process isn’t what it used to be. Digging up dirt on people has become increasingly easier in the modern era of computers, social networking, and digital cameras. Furthermore, the job market has become increasingly competitive. When competing against 20 other competitive applicants for a coveted position, a single disciplinary mistake can ruin your chances completely. Because of this, it has become even more important to carefully monitor your personal choices, straying away from bad decisions NOW that will follow you around for the rest of your career.
Most people don’t consider using a fake ID a major offense, but it can have major implications on your career path. There is a common misconception business owners punish fake ID users only by confiscating the license. No legal trouble, no future consequences to worry about, just no more fake ID, right? Wrong. Due to recent crackdowns on alcohol laws, especially in college towns like Boulder, people are beginning to treat using fake IDs as the serious offense that they are. If you get caught, there is a very good chance you will be reported to the police and it can interfere with your ability to continue your education at CU. If caught with a fake ID you will most likely be faced with mandatory community service completion, a fine that ranges from hundreds of dollars or even jail time. You could also end up with a permanent mark on your criminal record that every employer in your future can find out about.
In the last few years, Boulder has seen a spike in fake IDs. If you get caught with a fake ID, you may think future employees may not penalize you for the mistakes of your youth (they were all in college once too!). Is the possibility worth the risk though? We definitely don’t think so! Think of it this way: when you apply for that dream job of yours at a large national corporation or a small local company you are sure to be up against quite a few other candidates. If the only difference between your resume and someone else’s is that you happen to have an underage alcohol charge, you probably won’t be the one hired. Unfortunately, a lot of the best job positions out there are highly competitive, so something as seemingly unimportant as an MIP or a fake ID ticket doesn’t seem so insignificant when you’re getting turned down from every interview.
Think that you’re “careful” and will never get caught using a fake? Well, think again. Boulder Police received a Federal grant to go after underage drinkers, and in the last few years have confiscated over 3000 fake IDs! Last March, a CU student was arrested for operating a fake ID ring and faced felony charges for possessing forged documents. Detectives used Facebook to link others to the fake IDs and the consequences of a conviction are severe. CU Restorative Justice offers first-time offenders a chance to learn from their mistakes rather than face a potential felony conviction, but only if they contact their office within a week of the violation.
With Spring Break coming up next week, remember to be smart every night you’re out on the Hill, trying to go to bars in your hometown, and especially if you’re on vacation where the legal drinking age is 21. Getting into a bar or having a drink at a restaurant is definitely NOT worth the trouble it could cost your career in the long run.