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    Florida Bill Could Help Retailers

    Poll finds strong support for criminalizing the manufacture of false ID's.

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A recent poll conducted with Tallahassee residents points to the difficulty in spotting a fake ID, and demonstrates high support for making it illegal to manufacture or sell false ID's.

    Florida law already makes it a misdemeanor to use a false ID to buy alcohol beverages, tobacco or other age-restricted products. Legislation is pending that would close a loophole by also criminalizing the production, distribution and selling of fake ID's.

    The Research Network, a Florida polling company conducting the research on behalf of the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association (FBWA), asked 400 men and women how confident they were in their ability to spot a fake or real ID and then showed them two ID's -- one real, the other fake.

    As testament to the highly sophisticated production capability of those "in the business" of making fake ID's, over 60 percent were not very confident in their ability to tell the fake from the real ID. In fact, one in three chose the wrong one. When asked, better than 8 out of 10 weren't aware that making false ID's is not currently punishable by law, 77 percent embraced the notion of making it a second-degree felony for doing so.

    "We work with our retail partners in the community to provide ongoing training so servers and sellers of alcohol can spot fake ID's," said Mitch Rubin, executive director of the FBWA. "Having more ammunition to crack down on these false ID mills is a great thing."

    A vote is expected next week on the bills.

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