Liquor Advisory Commission discusses Unofficial policies

By Katie O'Connell

The City of Champaign’s Liquor Advisory Commission met this morning to discuss possible changes being made to decrease the effects of Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day at the University. All changes will be voted on during the Champaign City Council meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

The council will vote on whether or not to grant Mayor Gerald Schweighart increased emergency powers to restrict the sale of alcohol on campus during the “holiday.”

With the increased powers Schweighart would be able to prohibit the sale of more than one keg to each residence. The sale of pitchers and undiluted spirits, or shots, would also be prohibited on Campustown bars.

However, Schweighart said at the meeting that he would not ban the sale of shots if they were sold at the bar. Instead, Schweighart is concerned with banning the sale of shots through “shot girls.”

Additional changes include requiring bar employees checking IDs to be 21 years old and prohibiting bars from opening before 11 a.m.

Yet various commission members were concerned that prohibiting bars from opening earlier would increase the numbers of private parties that began in the morning. Commission member Tracey Herbert, who owns Legends located at 522 E. Green St., said that he would rather see other bars get more business by opening up early rather than having students come to bars already intoxicated at 11 a.m.

Herbert also said that despite the ruling on the times when bars can open, he will not open Legends before 11 a.m.

The nuisance party ordinance, which grants police more power to shut down private parties, was also discussed at the meeting. The ordinance will be voted on tonight as well.

If the ordinance is voted on, Sgt. Scott Friedlein of the Champaign City Police Department said that it will go into effect before Unofficial.