It has been almost five years since the legal age for alcohol consumption increased from 16 to 18 years. Many minors do not agree with this and therefore try to drink in the pub anyway or buy beer and wine in the store. The same goes for a 16-year-old girl last weekend in the Dutch Town of Utrecht. She was caught with an ID card that did not belong to her and ended up in the cell for a night.

A local neighborhood agent posted her on Twitter, which caused a a stir – A justified penalty for using a Fake ID?

picture of a dutch identification cardAfter it appeared that the girl did not have her own identity card with her, she was taken to the police station. Using a fake or borrowed identity card is identity fraud and that is punishable. When her parents could not be reached, the police said that spending the night in the cell was the only option. Too strict? Many people did not agree with this approach. The local police tweet received hundreds of reactions, especially from people who find the action far too harsh.

The policeman admits:

A 16-year-old girl does not belong in a police cell, criminals and real criminals belong there. But this was the last option we had!

What are people on Twitter saying?

Thank you for tackling the Utrecht crime problem. – henk westbroek (@henkwestbroek) 9 December 2018


I think this is a disproportionate punishment. Did she use violence? You could have taken her home to see the ID card and informed her parents. That seems sufficient to me. – muscle gain (@ muscle gain) 9 December 2018

There were also reactions from people who agreed with the response of the law:

Using a fake identification is a serious crime, and assuming it was a 16/17 year old (not a 9 or 10 year old), I think this is perfectly logical. If you deliberately show a fake ID, you could get into trouble, and will get into trouble! – Daniel vd-B | support public services (@DanielEuropean) 9 December 2018


Well, then, as a parent of 3 adolescents, I’ll post a positive tweet. I hope that if one of my girls ever thinks they’re going to drink with a forged id, they’ll get caught by a police officer like you. For sure, they can stay with you for a night in a cell #nix18 – Samantha (@Semke1981) 9 December 2018

ID card fraud appears to be a common problem: every weekend the police receive dozens of reports from establishments serving alcohol. According to the neighborhood policeman, many young people are not aware of how bad it is to use your older friend’s card.

Young people apparently find this type of identity fraud innocent. But they need to be aware that the consequences can be enormous. So big, in fact, that they can spend a night in the cell. The fine you get for identity fraud is 95 euros.

Forgery on the Rise: A Dutch Problem?

Research last year showed, that one in five minors sometimes uses borrowed or fake ID cards.

Some of these faux cards are really good and can be purchased online“ Security Expert Mark Reginov claims.

There are even templates, or generators available, but kids these days know, that you need to buy a real fake and are willing to spend the money…

We think, this is much safer than just borrowing a card…

The Bottom Line

Every year, hundreds of young fraudsters end up at HALT as a result. This number has increased every year since 2015. But do minors who want to buy alcohol even need a real fake id?

Continue reading: Cashiers spilling the beans – how easy is it to buy alcohol as a minor?