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Fake ids photo illustration Credit: Alexandra Fleischman

Students line up every weekend outside bars around campus and downtown — but not everyone waiting in the cold may get in.

Fake IDs are rejected in waves every day. College senior Kenny Csaplar, a bouncer at on-campus bar Smokey Joe’s, said he turns away “30 a night, on average.” He added that his record for one shift is 48 fake IDs.

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“I think most students don’t think about the consequences,” a College freshman, who has a fake ID and wished to remain anonymous due to the legal implications, said.

She added that she “definitely felt nervous the first couple times” she used her fake, but now does not. “I’ve only had it turned down once,” she said.

According to Pennsylvania law, the “misrepresentation of age to secure liquor or malt or brewed beverages” is a third-degree misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500.

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The “manufacture or sale of false identification card” is a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $1000.

Troy Jackson, who has been a bouncer for over 10 years and now works at Drinkers West on 39th and Chestnut Streets, said students understand the repercussions of fake IDs “as much as kids can get it.”

“They give me grief about it,” Jackson said. “They tell me, ‘Come on! It’s real.’ I’m just trying to protect the establishment and you. There’s a reason there’s a drinking age.”

According to Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush, University Police Department would not usually get involved if a fake ID is discovered unless there are “disturbances,” such as a fight which would result in additional criminal charges. She added that bars have the responsibility to ensure that everyone is above the legal drinking age.

“Cops have a lot bigger problems to worry about” than arresting a student for having a fake ID, Csaplar said.

Jackson said some fake IDs “are really good. Sometimes they’re so bad it’s hilarious.” He recounted one kid who had a card saying “he was 6’3”, when he was clearly 5’4” ­— you just have to laugh.”

However, he added that “there’s no reason to get mad. That’s what kids are supposed to do, and we’re supposed to not let them in.”

Students will still put up cash and effort for the opportunity to get into bars. An Engineering senior who preferred to remain anonymous said he got a fake during his freshman year for $40 from a truck on Spring Garden Street.

Csaplar explained that so many students take their chances with random street-trucks and fakes because Penn is very much a “see and be seen place.”

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“[Students] want to say, ‘Oh I was at a club last night,’ or ‘I went to Smoke’s last night,” he said.

“It’s pretty uncommon for students to not have a fake,” a College senior, who preferred to be anonymous, said. “It’s hard to fit in without one, so much of the social life is built around things like [Copabanana] Wednesday’s.”

She added that “bars understand that if they had to arrest everyone with a fake, there wouldn’t be any students left.”

At the door, Jackson simply says, “I’ll see you when you’re 21.”

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