While independents and constitutional conservatives in states like North Carolina continue to pursue their battle against proposed REAL IDs, in Utah yesterday the newly introduced HB 129, introduced by Republican Representative Curtis Oda of Clearfield, aims at bringing more severe penalties against those who either provide or use a fake ID used in the illegal sale of liquor to minors.
According to Representative Oda, underage drinkers who use fake IDs rarely have penalties imposed upon them by judges in the state, although such penalties may include suspension of one’s license for one year. Oda’s bill proposes that penalites be increased to a class A misdemeanor, constituting a year served in prison, a cash fine, and revocation of repeat offender’s licenses for up to three years. Oda also says that parents of children under the age of 18 can also have such penalties brought against them, citing that penalties for underage drinking must be placed on both the drinker “and those responsible”.
At present, Utah law restricts purchase of alcoholic beverages to adults aged 21 and up who own “private club membership” on a business-by-business basis for bars, or who order food in addition to their alcoholic beverage in a licensed restaurant. Prior to the 2008 election, Representative Oda had served as a member of Republican hopeful Mitt Romney’s Utah Organization during the primaries.