Champaign mayor issues rules for 'Unofficial'
CHAMPAIGN – Mayor Jerry Schweighart on Thursday issued his annual emergency orders to regulate the flow of liquor next weekend as University of Illinois students prepare to celebrate "Unofficial St. Patrick's Day" on March 4.
As liquor commissioner, Schweighart is afforded executive powers relating to liquor sales in city stores and bars. The following orders will be in effect:
– Bars and package liquor stores in the campus area may not serve or sell alcohol before 11 a.m. on March 4.
– Bars may not host any private functions that result in special drink pricing or other privileges from 11 a.m. on March 4 until 2:30 a.m. on March 5.
– Bars may not serve pitchers of alcohol or shots of undiluted alcohol, and all drinks must be served in paper or plastic cups on March 4.
– Patron entry age for all bars in the campus area will be 21 years or older between 11 a.m. on March 4 until 2:30 a.m. on March 5.
– All campus bars must have a doorman, aged 21 or older, present and checking IDs at all entrances during the hours of operation.
– The mayor's office will not be issuing any keg permits for parties, making it illegal to possess more than one keg per residence during this event.
– For establishments licensed to sell package liquor, an Adult Responsibility Form must be completed by the purchaser and kept on file prior to the sale of 168 or more 12 ounce containers of beer or malt beverage; 24 or more one-liter bottles of distilled spirits; or one keg.
Schweighart has issued similar orders in previous years in an attempt to limit the sale of alcohol during the annual event. Champaign police officials have said recently that they plan to increase their presence on campus next weekend, as they have done in the past.
A Facebook page on Thursday listed more than 23,000 people who said they would "attend" Unofficial St. Patrick's Day on March 4. Participants traditionally drink alcohol throughout the day during the event, which was created because students typically are on spring break during the official St. Patrick's Day. A similar Facebook page for last year's event drew more than 17,000 RSVPs.