The University of Wisconsin-Madison has outfitted eight stores that sell alcohol in downtown Madison with free electronic scanners designed to boost the retailers’ ability to weed out fake IDs, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. The handheld scanners sell for $1,000 apiece and are similar to those used since 2007 to discourage underage drinking on campus, officials said. Retailers using the free scanners have pledged to turn over any fake IDs they find to police every three months–a plan that makes sense for everyone, said Richard Schober, owner of MacTaggart’s Market. "It’s a good deal all around for sure," said Schober. "Scanners are quite pricey. I probably wouldn’t do it on my own." But with the cost covered, it’s no problem, he added. Dawn Crim, the university official handling the program, said the practice of turning in confiscated IDs to police can yield good data about underage drinkers. For instance, the university has learned through its own scanner program that Arizona is now the hot home state for illegal IDs. "What it enables the police to do is determine the states being represented in the [fake ID] market and determine how the IDs are being altered," she said. "It could be the hologram or the magnetic strip or just the photo. So it provides quite a bit of data that police on the street can then hone in on."

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