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Trying to get into Smokey Joe’s on a Wednesday night may seem harder than finding a GSR during finals week. But while bouncers stay strict, students sometimes find loopholes to get by.

Somewhere around a third of underage people in the city of Philadelphia are carrying around a fake ID, according to an article on Billy Penn.

In many areas of Pennsylvania, a first offense of carrying a fake ID card while underage is filed ambiguously as a non-traffic summary offense.

However, that has not stopped many Penn students attempting to get into campus bars such as Blarney Stone and Smokes'. According to the Billy Penn article, on any given night, bouncers stop more than 20 people attempting to get into bars.

Wharton senior Luke Roskowinski has firsthand experience with examining fake IDs in his job as a bouncer at Smokes’.

“Once I realize the ID is fake, I’ll generally just tell someone ‘Sorry, not tonight’ and if they start insisting, I’ll tell them exactly why it’s fake,” he said.

During Erin Express, a University City bar crawl on Saint Patrick’s Day, Roskowinski saw a girl bite his fellow bouncer on the arm after she was denied entrance because her ID was fake. She then tried to fight with other girls and was taken away by the police. But usually the typical night at Penn isn’t as dramatic, Roskowinski said.

Roskowinski always double checks ID cards to ensure they are not fake by looking at security features, such as holograms, which vary by state. He said he generally gives fake IDs back to people who try to use them to get in and wishes them a good night.

With Penn students acting as bouncers, it may become uncomfortable for them to turn away their underage friends at the door who may have fake IDs.

“When I first started working, taking cover as a sophomore, I had a bunch of situations where I stood there while my friends got turned away,“ Roskowinski said. Some people may not take no for an answer, he said, but he stands by his decision once he realizes an ID is fake.

Still, students are able to slip into places like Smokes’ with fake IDs.

Sam, a College freshman who did not want to use her last name, said that she has been successful getting into Smokes' underage. “Depending on the time of night, getting in can either be a pain or not, but almost all of the time I get in,” she said. Being with friends who have more recognizably fake IDs sometimes hinders her ability to get in, she added.

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