Lawmakers are calling it the "Card Hard" campaign.
In an effort to crack-down on and discourage underage drinking across Rockland County and beyond, Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) is pushing for legislation that would more intensely punish fake ID holders—and the local businesses that willingly accept phony identification.
Carlucci introduced his proposed law Tuesday afternoon at the , flanked by law enforcement officers, fellow lawmakers, business owners and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) representatives.
"The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest days of the year—400 people die [on this day annually] due to alcohol-related accidents," Carlucci said.
"But we can curb underage drinking, and these senseless deaths," he added.
Carlucci's proposed changes would allow businesses to confiscate fake IDs themselves. Further, it would hike up the fine that fake ID holders face, and beef up the fee businesses are hit with when caught supplying.
Currently, teens and 20-year-olds caught with fake IDs can face anything from a traffic violation to a $100 fine to a counterfeiting charge.
"The charges now run the gamut," said James Mellion, the first assistant to the Rockland County District Attorney. "It depends on the record of the person involved."
But Carlucci wants to introduce more punitive measures, like revoking offenders' drivers licences until age 21.
"We want to deter kids from even trying to buy alcohol," Carlucci said. "Minors will know it's zero-tolerance."
The law would also motivate businesses to stomp-out fake IDs, Carlucci said. If a business is caught accepting them, the owner can face a $2,000 fine. Under the bill, however, merchants would have the option of buying a less-expensive ID scanner instead, and using it during future sales.
Mellion said Carlucci's plan is both "reasonable in scope and purpose."
And it is an idea that several merchants are on-board with.
"We are committed to getting these IDs off the street," said Tom Edwards, the owner of Fox and Hound Spirits in New Paltz. Edwards joined Carlucci Tuesday morning.
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Rockland) stood next to Carlucci and expressed her support, as well. She noted, if passed, officials would work with local advocacy groups and school district to get the word out to teens.
Carlucci said the bill was first introduced in May, and hopes it will pass by January's legislative session.
"This isn't a Democrat or Republican issue," he added.