Arizona Seeks to Stiffen Fake ID Penalties

Endorses legislation to hike fine for minors using false identification to buy tobacco

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Senate Committee on Commerce & Energy recently endorsed legislation to make the use of fake IDs for minors making tobacco purchases a misdemeanor rather than a petty offense.

According to a report from Cronkite News Service, supporters, including the Arizona Retailers Association, said SB 1086, sponsored by State Senator Michele Reagan (R), would penalize youths on par with clerks caught selling tobacco to underage customers. A conviction would carry a maximum fine of $500 and up to 30 days in jail.

Michelle Ahlmer, executive director [image-nocss] of the Arizona Retailers Association, told the news agency that enhancing the penalty for minors would deter youths from purchasing tobacco illegally.

The committee amended the bill to drop a provision outlawing the manufacture and sale of blunt wraps, often used to roll marijuana cigarettes. Lobbyists for tobacco companies objected to the language used, the report said.

Steve Barclay, a lobbyist for the Cigar Association of America, told the news agency, "The legislator didn't feel comfortable doing a total ban. We need to get the facts nailed down on this and regroup."

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