Our 18-year-old daughter just received an envelope with a plastic card inside from an "18-year-old-plus" dance club/bar. Concerned that she perhaps received a fake ID, I asked her about the letter and got no answer. Later, I looked in her wallet only to find someone else's expired ID showing a similar young blond to be 21 years old and, also, a fraudulent out-of-state picture ID of my daughter with a different last name and soon to be 21 at the same time this ID expires.
Torn between her right to privacy, concern and illegal implications of which she is unaware, I asked for and took away the (fake IDs and the) chances that she might be erroneously identified in an emergency that might delay critical medical care.The envelope that arrived had little to do with the above; the club had confiscated my daughter's expired driver's license from a 17-year-old who borrowed my daughter's license to get into that club.
My need for information questions legal liability to the 18-year-old (and/or the parents) who help a 17-year-old get into a bar where alcohol is served to 21-plus patrons, where minors are also allowed in to dance and are subsequently exposed to possible alcohol consumption. Too, if my daughter is involved in a car accident while DWI, what is the legal liability to the 21-year-old who gave my daughter the expired license? Is the answer to the question regarding the 17-year-old using my daughter's expired license the same, or is more legal responsibility addressed to the parents of the 18-year-old lender?
Since fake IDs and lawsuit-prone America exist, please let me and, better yet, teens know their responsibilities and their liabilities.
- `A Concerned Parent
Answer: I've been told by attorneys and prosecutors, including one from your area, that every case is different and anything is always possible, but . . .
In general, an 18-year-old is considered a legal adult. If your daughter is involved in a car accident while DWI, she - not the 21-year-old who loaned her the fake ID - would be charged, and you as a parent would not have any criminal responsibility.
As to your daughter's and your possible liability for the 17-year-old using your daughter's ID: Depending on state and local statutes, your daughter could be guilty of a misdemeanor for lending her license, but it is unlikely that she would be held criminally liable for any subsequent actions of the 17-year-old. Again, you as a parent would have no criminal responsibility.
Civil cases are another matter. Someone could choose to file, for example, a wrongful death suit and could bring charges against everyone with any possible involvement, including a teenager who had lent a driver's license, and her parents.
"Responsibilities and liabilities" are governed by state statutes and local ordinances. Depending on where you live, possessing a fake ID or permitting another person to display your license or lending or knowingly permitting another person to use your license may be a Class A misdemeanor punishable by possible fines, jail sentences and loss of driving privileges.
Talkback: From Toby in Michigan: A lot of teens are stressed at school, then come home to non-understanding parents.
One day I came home from school, sat down on the couch and rubbed my head and (said), "I've had a bad day." No one could understand how I could have a bad day. I had my science teacher telling us about a lab report, then I had my English teacher telling us about a book report. On top of that, I had student government. Maybe that sounds like little stress to adults, but it's big to a 13-year-old.
I know we don't have as much stress as parents, but we do have stress.
P.S. Also, some kids have chores after they come home from school. And, most of the time, we bring our work home with us!!
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