Student Affairs

New ID verification program being piloted in area businesses


Clemson bars and restaurants are piloting a new technology aimed at detecting fake IDs. Thanks to a strong partnership between the City of Clemson, Clemson University and local businesses, the ID verification application is a positive step in helping reduce underage drinking in the community. 

A press conference to announce the official launch of the new fake ID pilot program was held at Tiger Town Tavern earlier this month. Attendees included University and City officials, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, area businesses and Intellicheck, a software company.

“We have at least 15 area bars, convenience stores and liquor stores that have agreed to use this application,” said Clemson City Police Chief Jorge Campos. The app is quick and easy to use – just scan an ID to see if it’s real or not. Funded by DAODAS (South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services), the Phoenix Center and local government agencies, the pilot program provides local businesses with a valuable tool for authenticating IDs and preventing illegal alcohol consumption in a time when fake IDs have become sophisticated and hard to detect upon visual inspection alone. 

Addressing underage, high-risk drinking in the community is a public health and safety measure that ultimately benefits students’ well-being. Jennifer Goree, director of Healthy Campus at Clemson University, spoke on the irrefutable research behind why taking steps to prevent underage drinking is so important.

“Research indicates that alcohol use during the teenage years can interfere with normal adolescent brain development and increase the risk of developing alcohol use disorder,” she said. “In addition, underage drinking contributes to a range of acute consequences, such as injuries, sexual assaults, alcohol overdoses and deaths.”

After providing supporting statistics, Goree continued, “The benefits of waiting until the legal drinking age are well established. Those who don’t drink until the age 21: have improved long and short-term cognitive skills, including decision-making and memory formation ability; are less likely to have self-esteem issues as well as mental health conditions such as alcoholism, depression, stress and risk of suicide; are more likely to have higher academic performance; and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors leading to harming oneself or others.”

As the director of Healthy Campus, Goree leads staff who provide health and well-being prevention education at the population level, particularly focusing on risk reduction for topics shown to impact college student well-being and success, such as alcohol and other drugs. A large part of addressing alcohol and other drug concerns includes collaboration with others at the University and in the community. In addition to the ID verification app, Healthy Campus partners with Clemson Athletics and Marketing and Communications to develop and promote the Celebrate Safely campaign each year. The campaign encourages alcohol safety and bystander intervention and is seen in numerous places throughout campus and online.

To learn more about the University’s alcohol and other drug efforts, visit the Healthy Campus website.