Bartenders worried about fake IDs after recent DUI accidents involving minors

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Bartenders worried about fake IDs after crackdown on underage drinking. (KTRK)

In the wake of charges being filed against the people who allegedly supplied alcohol to a minor involved in a fatal DUI crash, an employee in the service industry has concerns.

Veronica Rivas is charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter in the deaths of Shayla Joseph and her infant son. Police said Rivas was drunk at the time of the crash in February.

Investigators determined Rivas, 20, and a 17-year-old friend had drinks at a Webster sports bar. Two men who allegedly bought margaritas for them were charged with supplying alcohol to minors.

The bartender was charged with criminal negligence.

A doorman at a Houston club, who asked to be identified as "Mike," said he's concerned about the effect it will have on his industry.

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"I'm really worried if someone gets past me," he said.

His concern is the fake IDs that are used by those under 21, who try to pass themselves off as drinking age customers.

"The fake IDs are getting harder to spot," he said. "They now include holograms and images that show up under black lights, just like the real ones do. Sometimes I can't tell the difference."

With the county vowing to file similar charges in other DUI crashes, he said he worries.

"If they get in a crash, and they don't die, and the cops asks where were you drinking and where did this happen, they'll say they knew I wasn't 21," he said.

District Attorney Kim Ogg said the charges that the office filed were based on intent, and evidence she said that showed the two men who bought the drinks for Rivas and her friend knew they were minors.

"Somebody slipping a fake ID that doesn't catch someone's specific attention doesn't necessarily mean there's going to be a charge. But I want everyone to be careful and be responsible," she said.

The DA's office said there will be charges similar to the ones announced this past week filed in fatal DUI crashes, in which alcohol providers will be tracked down.

Harris County has the most DUI fatalities of any county in the country.
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