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Committee approves bill allowing for underage drinkers to be sued for using fake ID's

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state Assembly committee has voted to let underage drinkers be sued if they’re caught using fake ID’s to hoodwink bars and liquor stores into selling them alcohol.

The state affairs panel voted 9-0 Tuesday in favor of a bill from De Pere Republican Andre Jacque.

It lets alcohol sellers file small claims suits of up to $1,000 against those under 21 who try to buy beer or booze under false pretenses.

The bill is similar to the “Brown Jug Law” passed a decade ago in Alaska, and Jacque says it has improved compliance dramatically. He said a Green Bay police lieutenant gave him the idea for his bill.

But it’s especially timely considering what happened in Milwaukee a few weeks ago – where 105 underage students at Marquette University were cited, after using fake ID’s to try getting into a night club.

Jacque says Alaska officials often arrange out of court settlements with underage drinkers, in which the clerks and bartenders who confiscate fake ID’s get cash rewards.

But Maureen Busalacchi of Health First Wisconsin says the bill could end up giving financial incentives to alcohol sellers to allow underage drinking by entrapment.

A similar bill is pending in the state Senate.

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