The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Fake ID necessary for decent nightlife in Dallas


I’m turning 21. Finally! Everyone seems to focus on the legal drinking aspect of the milestone birthday. All I can think about is the convenience.

Obviously, it takes everyone the same amount of time to turn 21, but I have an April birthday. I’m the last one of my friends to turn 21.

In Dallas, being underage and having a nightlife may as well be mutually exclusive. Dallas boasts a whoppin’ 14 bars and clubs for us under-agers, according to None are attractive options.

Freshman and sophomore year, it was easy enough to fill my weekends with fraternity parties, but come junior year I’ve already attended the theme parties and a second or third go-around of dressing like some variety of “ho” is a bit old.

The first semester of this year, I spent several weekends in College Station visiting my boyfriend. It is a college town, and the bars cater to college-age students. There are only a few bars that are 21 and up because most college students don’t turn 21 until their junior year. So for the first semester of this year, I actually had some semblance of a nightlife.

And since returning from Christmas break, I’ve just been waiting out this birthday thing. I can’t bring myself to go to any more lame, smoky bars where I will most likely waste an evening and undoubtedly pay an overpriced cover charge. And I’d have to pay at least $5 to park. Oh, and I almost forgot to factor in dry cleaning. Any of the times I’ve been to these bars, I’ve left smelling so much like an ashtray Forrest Gump wouldn’t even kiss me.

It’s just not worth the hassle, which is why so many SMU students have fake IDs. I hopped on the fake ID bandwagon too. Guided by Boaz-ian ethics, I reasoned that it was okay since I would really just use it to get into bars or clubs, not to actually buy drinks. And for the most part, that’s what I did.

Getting the fake ID was never about buying alcohol. It was about choices. Without a fake, my choices were limited to fraternity parties, random house parties and about 14 mostly seedy bars and clubs.

Surprise, surprise, that’s not really my idea of fun.

I noticed a big difference in nightlife while going out in College Station. The majority of bars are 18 and up, and they are strict on fake IDs. As an underage person I can legally go out with my boyfriend and other friends who are of age. The strict enforcement of identification laws prevents underage people from drinking illegally, while the lower age minimum is inclusive.

By doing the exact opposite – raising the age minimum to 21 and loosely enforcing identification laws, Dallas establishments are almost encouraging the use of fake IDs out of social starvation. This leads to even larger problems. If I get into a bar using my fake ID, then I can buy drinks. If I buy a drink, I am a minor in consumption and the bar is supplying me, a minor, with alcohol.

But this is Dallas, not College Station. If a bar doesn’t exclude somebody, how can it be exclusive?

Exclusivity, or at least the appearance of it, is what’s posh in Dallas. And the nightlife businesses in Dallas are willing to do what it takes to support that façade, as long as it brings the money – uh, I mean, people.

There are safer and legal ways to make a buck, especially with SMU, UTD, DBU, UNT, TCU and several other community colleges stationed in the Metroplex. I’m not the only youngster who has slightly older friends. Dallas bars should lower their age minimums to 18 and refuse to serve minors by not accepting fake IDs. They would create loyal customers by being more welcoming to the entire college crowd.

Being 21 will make life – nightlife – less of a hassle and definitely more worth my time and effort.

The social drought is nearly over, and I sure am thirsty.

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