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Many teens using false ID to buy alcohol

www.irishhealth.com [Posted: Thu 23/06/2005]

By Deborah Condon

Many Irish teenagers are using false or borrowed ID cards to get into places where alcohol is available, the results of a new survey have found. According to the findings, almost half (44%) of 16 and 17 year olds said that most of their peers use false or borrowed ID cards to access alcohol. Furthermore girls are worse offenders than boys. Altogether, 28% of 12 - 17 year old girls said most of their friends use false or borrowed IDs, compared to 20% of boys.

The survey was carried out on behalf of MEAS (mature enjoyment of alcohol in society). According to its chief executive, Fionnuala Sheehan, the findings show that 'ID abuse and misuse is the norm' among many teenagers.

MEAS wants the government to introduce a national ID card, in an attempt to tackle this problem. It says that it regrets that the Intoxicating Liquor Bill that is currently before the Dail, does not propose a national ID or age card scheme. It also believes that there are fundamental deficiencies with the current Garda ID card, as take-up of this card has been disappointing. "Of those reaching 18 in the period since 1999, less than 50% have applied for the Garda card and in the current year up to the end of May, less than 6% of 18 year olds had applied for the card", Ms Sheehan said. She suggested that a national ID card based on the universal PPSN number should be introduced.