Bartender Ban: 18 Going on 22

[G]etting entry into your local bar as an underaged teenager can be a massive dream for many. This was certainly the case for me. But here’s the big difference: for me, it was a dream that actually came true.

That is, until I no longer needed to fool anyone. When I actually needed to get in legally, I was given the ‘ol bum-rush. Why, you ask? Well, let me take you on my 3-year journey scamming the system and getting caught the one day I decided to follow it.

1. Starting the Process

It was one hot July summer when all of this kicked into motion. It was my 18th birthday and my bud Mike came to hang out with me at my place.

Florida – Miami Beach Summer Scene

After raiding a large pack of Cheetos and hammering our fingers playing fighting games, we both had a stray thought. “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a couple of beers right now?

To us, it seemed like such a waste to only drink when you hit your twenties. After all, we were all teenagers that wanted to be spontaneous and have fun.

It just didn’t make sense. After a few transient thoughts, we decided to see what we could do. I pulled out my laptop and starting googling.

We were looking for anything, whether it was a random law or some loophole. But it didn’t work out right.

Finally, we landed on some Reddit threads about using fake IDs. It seemed worthwhile, so we went for it.

Chris Morrison

The website had laid out all the info neatly and we live-chatted with the support guy who said we would get a legit-looking fake ID in a matter of days. Sure enough, after about 4-5 days, we were staring at IDs that were identical to our real ones save for the DOB. It was all set.

2. Setting the Plan in Motion

I still remember it like it was yesterday – the day that I got into a bar successfully for the first time. Once we got our IDs, we decided to go to our downtown bar.

We were both nervous because this was a hot spot and had some really strict enforcement. But we wanted to go big or go home.

We approached the bar and saw a muscled-up bouncer guarding the fort. Just as I had expected, Mike chickened out immediately and ditched me.

I couldn’t just back out, though. I was a man on a mission and getting this done was important to me.

The bouncer scanned me up, head to toe, and finally looked me dead in the eye before he said, “Can I see some ID?” I tried my best to calm my nerves and fetch the fake ID from my pocket.

I handed it to him and mustered up what I assumed was my best serious face.
After looking at the ID and looking back at me, he motioned me to go on ahead. It worked! I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

The bartender wasn’t too hard to dupe either and I was downing drinks by the end of the night. I even took some pictures and sent them to Mike. Partly as a boast and partly to tell him the cost of cowardice.

3. My Three-Year Stint as a 21-Year-Old

I didn’t think it would ever work, but it did. I don’t know how, but I was getting drinks on the regular. Once I had gained access to the bar, it became my usual hangout spot.

I would chat up my fellow patrons, talk to the bartenders, and even established good terms with the bouncer.

It wasn’t even just about the booze anymore. The bar was kind of just my place to chill out if I was having a bad day.

Chris Morrison

Everyone was super nice there, and they were essentially like a family to me. So what if I was an 18-year-old? To them, I was a 21-year-old and that’s all that really mattered to me.
In my circle of friends, I instantly became the most popular person.

All it would take for me to get a drink was to throw a casual nod at the bouncer and I would be granted entrance.

The bar was like a second home to me. There was virtually nothing that could tear me away from it. Except my actual ID.

4. How I Got Caught

Throughout my latter teens, I spent my time at the bar regularly having fun. Shortly after I turned 20, I ended up junking my fake ID.

I figured I only had a year left anyway and no one at the bar would care. Sadly, this was my biggest mistake.

You see, I decided to take some older friends with me to the bar to celebrate my new job. I hadn’t been to the bar for several months, so I was shocked to see that they had changed bartenders.

The bouncer was the same old guy, so he let me in with just a greeting. I got a little cocky and headed straight for the bar to order shots.

Unsurprisingly, I was asked for my ID. After all, this was the new guy and he hadn’t seen me before. I nervously mumbled that I was old enough and that he could ask the bouncer.

Bartender’s Question

“Yeah, sorry. Not gonna work. Can I see some ID?”

Knowing that there was no other way out, I sheepishly handed out my ID and hoped he didn’t notice my age. But he did. He noticed that I was a few weeks off from my 21st and that did me in.

It wasn’t long before everyone else knew. The staff, the manager, the bouncer, and the regular that I drank with. It was over.

They all learned that I had practically scammed them for 3 years. My prize? I got banned for life and can never show my face there again. The dream was dead, and I could never set foot in my favorite bar again.

Chris Morrison

Chris Morrison is a Bartender, Social Media Marketing Analyst. He serves as a Contributor & Editor for the daily posts section of

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