Chalking Up Success Against Underage Drinking
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“Chalking? What’s chalking?”
After asking that question, I discovered that I’m really outta the loop.
The unfamiliar term was mentioned during a recent Campus-Community Partnership meeting. The Partnership is a coalition of various programs to promote safer and healthier environments. A member spoke about a license checker, a device that can’t be outwitted by chalking.
The term chalking dates back to the 1980s, explained one “field expert” at the meeting. Chalk would be used to alter a driver’s license into a false ID, allowing the underage bearer to slip by a bar doorman.
Nowadays IDs are transformed with selective scratching, for example, changing an 8 into a 3. Even though chalk is no longer used, the term chalking has stuck with the practice.
While a false ID can pass visual inspection, the unaltered data contained in the magnetic strip can still trip up the bearer. A license checker scans the strip so that the visual and hidden data can be compared.
A program under the auspices of the Partnership secured grant money to purchase a license checker used by city police. This unit is mobile, so that the police can check IDs at various bars.
Among its features the checker can store information about violators in a database to catch repeat offenders.
Another checker had been set up on a permanent basis at a downtown drinking establishment. The owners didn’t want the hassle of underage drinkers. Someone at the meeting asked if the owners felt they had lost business, albeit illegal trade. The owners said they liked the older, legal age crowd; overall there were fewer problems.
Of course, there’s a trade-off with privacy when such a device is used. Two Partnership members discussed how they tried out one of the $1500 units. During their test it was revealed that someone’s first name – the moniker given by his parents – wasn’t the same as the one he prefers nowadays.
Don’t worry, “G.” Your secret is safe at this blog.