OSHKOSH - A new bill in the state legislature could make minors think twice before trying to buy liquor with a fake ID. If the measure became law, a bar or store would be able to sue the minor.
At Terry's Bar in Oshkosh, owner Pat Purtell struggles with young people using fake IDs.
"You're always gonna have that element trying to get in through your door, so we spend a fortuned with people sitting at our doors, checking IDs," explained Purtell.
Purtell told FOX 11 he's had nights where his staff has caught up to 20 fake IDs. He said if those kids get in, get alcohol, and get caught... his bar could get fined.
But a new bill in the state legislature would change that. The bill would allow owners to sue an underage person in small claims court for $1,000, for showing a fake ID at the door. The clerk would have to contact police and the bar would have to post signs telling people they could get sued for using fake IDs.
"We've had testimony from people who've turned in in excess of 300 fake IDs to law enforcement and there wasn't much of a response. So this is a way for word to spread fairly quickly," said State Representative Andre Jacque of De Pere. He and State Senator Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac are co-sponsoring the bill.
Jacque told FOX 11 both the underage person and parents would be responsible, but there would be ways around paying the full cost.
"To a diversionary program where they're paying a fraction of that forfeiture and taking an alcohol assessment class," explained Jacque.
The bill is in the State Affairs Committee now and it's had a few amendments.
"The tavern owners, the bar owners would still be responsible for any lawyer fees and not the underage drinker or his family," explained State Representative Penny Bernard Schaber.
The bill has support on both sides of the aisle. However, some Democrats worry this will overburden the court system.
"When we look at Legislature that would add to the work load of our court system we have to take funding into account as well," explained State Representative Andre Jacque.
Purtell however, told us it would be worth it.
"I think it would only have to be used once or twice in the whole city or area and I think people would realize it's something they can't fool around with," said Purtell.
The Assembly's State Affairs Committee is scheduled to vote on the bill Tuesday.
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