Central New York, Crime, Technology

Smartphone App Helps Fight Underage Drinking

New York’s DMV investigators will be using a new smartphone app to scan and spot fake IDs. © 2016 AP. Photo by Manu Fernadez.

Click play to hear more about a new smartphone app being used by law enforcement to spot fake IDs.

Audio Transcript: DMV Tech

By Erron Franklin SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — New York is taking advanced steps to tackle the issue of ID authentication and underage drinking across the state.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is now using the smartphone application “Law ID,” which was developed to assist law enforcement in detecting fake IDs and licenses. New York is the first state in the nation to pilot the program.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the DMV has launched the program using the new state-of-the-art technology.

“Underage drinking can lead to bad decisions and situations with potentially lifelong consequences,” Governor Cuomo said. “I’m proud to launch this new pilot program that capitalizes on exciting new technology developed right here in the Empire State and will aid in our efforts to crack down on this reckless and dangerous behavior.”

Law ID was developed by New York-based company Intellicheck Inc. The mobile application, which is only available to law enforcement, enables investigators to scan a license or ID and match it against driving records from all 50 states.

Intellichecks Chief Executive Officer Bryan Lewis says the problem is rampant and more widespread than people might think.

“You can easily go on the internet and buy these fake IDs. They advertise that they pass scanners and they pass the backlight test. The holograms are already there. So, it is a much larger problem than I think people understand,” Lewis said.

DMV investigators are present at concerts and bars across New York state to check identification and to prevent those under the age of 21 from purchasing alcohol. The effort is part of the Operation Prevent Campaign.

During the month of June, investigators working with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department arrested a total 21 people at St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview during three separate shows.