12/20/2007

Chicago officers get new gadget to detect fake IDs

The Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO Underage individuals trying to buy beer or get into a club in Chicago may soon have their Illinois driver's licenses scanned with a small black gadget about the size of a TV remote control.

Heineken USA and its largest Chicago distributor, Chicago Beverage Systems, are splitting the nominal cost about $11,500 of putting a device called a security laminate verifier into the hands of all the roughly 2,300 Chicago liquor license holders. The verifiers, which shine a light that should reveal a hologram on the ID, allow bartenders or store clerks to see if the license has been tampered with.

Interim Chicago Police Supt. Dana Starks praised the effort and said that "far too many times, we see the results of underage drinking in the form of fatal traffic accidents."

T. Daniel Tearno, Heineken's chief corporate relations officer, said the devices won't detect skilled forgeries but will give retailers another tool to help prevent underage drinking.

Chicago police officers have begun giving the gadgets to liquor license holders in a process expected to take about a month.

Copyright 2007 Chicago Tribune

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