Fake ID ownership in a US sample of incoming first-year college students

Norma Nguyen, Scott T. Walters, Dipali Venkataraman Rinker, Todd M. Wyatt, William DeJong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: One way that underage drinkers procure alcohol is by using a fake ID. This study examined demographic characteristics and alcohol-related problems associated with fake ID ownership among incoming first-year college students. Method: We examined baseline data collected as part of a web-based alcohol education program that had been completed by a large, cross-sectional sample of incoming college freshmen from across the US. Results: Only 7.7% of incoming freshmen reported owning a fake ID. Multiple logistic regression indicated that the odds of owning a fake ID were significantly increased by intent to join or current membership in a fraternity or sorority (OR = 2.00; 95% CI = 1.64,2.44; p < 0.0001), having taken the survey after the start of fall classes (OR = 1.27; 95% CI = 1.01, 1.59; p = 0.04), reporting 1 heavy drinking episode in the past two weeks (OR = 1.28; 95% CI = 0.97,1.68; p = 0.01), reporting 2 or more such episodes (OR = 2.78; 95% CI = 2.10,3.66; p < 0.0001), experiencing external harms related to alcohol use (OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.01,1.61; p = 0.01), and drinking and driving (OR = 1.34; 95% CI = 1.03,1.75; p = 0.03). Conclusions: Fake ID ownership was associated with intent to join or current membership in a fraternity/sorority and with reports of heavy drinking episodes, alcohol-related problems, and drinking and driving. Fake ID owners and incoming college students seeking fraternity or sorority membership should be targeted for multiple interventions to reduce alcohol-related harms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-761
Number of pages3
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2011


  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol prevention
  • College students
  • Drinking
  • Fake ID


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