Cortland students offered amnesty for turning in fake IDs

Student Life Center at SUNY Cortland

CORTLAND, N.Y. — If you are an underage college student who has been using a fake ID to gain entry into local bars and clubs, now is your chance to turn in your illegal document without facing civil or criminal prosecution.

The SUNY Cortland Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Office (SAPE) and the University Police Department have teamed up to offer an amnesty program for fake IDs.

Students can turn in their IDs on Tuesday, April 24, from 4-6 p.m. at the Student Life Center.

This is the first time the college has offered such a program, which is being funded through a grant from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

Several students turned in fake IDs during last week’s tabling event at the Student Life Center, according to Marissa Whitaker, Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Associate at SUNY Cortland. While the results were promising, Whitaker said many students were wary of the program.

“It’s similar to a gun buyback program in that there are trust issues,” she said. “Students walking by were a little hesitant at first, but when people actually approached us and saw that this was legitimate, they found it pretty refreshing.”

In exchange for turning in a fake ID, students will not be charged by the University Police Department, the Office of Student Conduct, or the New York State Court System.

As an added bonus, students who turn in a forged ID will be entered to win a pair of Beats Solo 3 headphones.

Cortland has been a frequent target of of statewide sweeps of bars and restaurants, which are conducted by the New York State Liquor Authority and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles in partnership with the Cortland Police Department. In November, the New York State Liquor Authority suspended the liquor license of The Stone Lounge after police documented 111 alleged sales of alcohol to minors.