After encountering several teenagers with fake identifications while breaking up an underage drinking party in town, Darien police are warning youth and parents about the dangers and criminal penalties for having and using forged IDs.

Police discovered two fake IDs in the purse of a teenage girl at a drinking party two weeks ago on Walmsley Road, along with a bottle of vodka and marijuana.

The fake identification cards replicate many of the features of authentic identification cards such as watermarks, making them difficult to spot, Darien Police Sgt. Jeremiah Marron said.

“Young people and their parents need to realize that obtaining fraudulent identification is a serious crime with potential criminal consequences,” Marron said. “Although their teenager may only be using a fake ID to buy alcohol or get into a bar, driver’s licenses are official government-issued documents.”

Under state law, possession of a fake ID in Connecticut is a Class D felony charge, and equivalent to forgery in the second degree. It is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine, according to police.

Marron also warned about the danger of identity theft as a result of sharing names, signature, or credit card numbers with those who fabricate the cards.

Underage drinking can also contribute to suicide, traumatic injury, drowning, violent and property crime, high-risk sex, alcohol poisoning, or the need for treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence, Marron said.

“The moral of the story here is that fake IDs aren’t as casual as our young people and their friends play them off to be,” Marron said. “They come with big risks and even bigger legal consequences if they’re caught.”