How U.S. Drinking Laws Created the Fake ID Market

Very interesting!

“A century ago, identification was not even an issue at all, but the need to associate people with a specific identity started to become essential as automobiles became popular and alcohol became more heavily regulated. A driver’s license is sort of a de facto way of checking someone’s age, but even that took some time to become formalized—many states didn’t even require that licenses had photos before the 1970s.”

Much like the book 1984 was a turning point for dystopian literature, the year 1984 was a turning point for the rise of fake IDs. That year, New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg teamed with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to get the National Minimum Drinking Age Act passed.

The law was a clever workaround of the 21st Amendment, which didn’t allow for federal regulations of drinking. See, Lautenberg’s law doesn’t require a drinking age, per se, but states that have a drinking age below 21 automatically lose 10 percent of their highway funding, which is a nice strategy for strong-arming states into compliance.”

Read the rest here:


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