Officers issue 162 notices on Unofficial

Right, an undercover police officer, walks an underage drinking suspect suspect out of Station 211 bar at the corner of 2nd and Green Streets, Friday March 2, 2007. ME Online

Beck Diefenbach

Right, an undercover police officer, walks an underage drinking suspect suspect out of Station 211 bar at the corner of 2nd and Green Streets, Friday March 2, 2007. ME Online

By Patrick Wade

As students celebrated Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day on March 2, authorities in the campus community took action against underage drinking and other illegal activities.

The Champaign Police Department enforcement effort wrote a total of 162 notices to appear in court during Unofficial as part of the Operation Campus/Tap program aimed at reducing underage drinking, according to a police press release. The charges ranged from open containers of alcohol on public walks to aggravated battery. Operation Campus/Tap officers have issued 267 notices to appear in court since the beginning of the year.

Calls for service also increased from last year’s Unofficial, said Sgt. Scott Friedlein of Champaign Police Department.

Law enforcement agencies also checked 11 campus bars. Station 211, 211 E. Green St., and C.O. Daniel’s, 608 E. Daniel St., were found to have the most underage drinkers on their property, each having 12 patrons who received citations.

“Overall, I think it went fairly well,” Friedlein said. He added that Champaign police are still looking to analyze the numbers.

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According to the press release, two people located by Champaign police with high breath alcohol content were transported to hospitals during Unofficial.

Allison McLaughlin, spokesperson for Carle Foundation Hospital, said much fewer patients came to the hospital for over-intoxication than last year.

“In all, we had a very small number of patients that came in with alcohol-related problems,” McLaughlin said. “And of those that were part of Unofficial is tough to tell.”

McLaughlin added that Carle Foundation Hospital is always prepared for any event that would flood the emergency room.

“We are always prepared for an influx of patients,” McLaughlin said. “We have a schedule of employees who are on call to come in anytime in which we need extra help.”

University officials are also crunching numbers related to Unofficial and are trying to determine how this year’s Unofficial compared to those in the past, said Renee Romano, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

“I’m not hearing that we had any disturbing of classes (by students),” Romano said. “That’s a good thing. That makes us feel as if our efforts did have a positive effect.”

Romano said that the University is still collecting numbers and so far, no disciplinary action has been taken against any student. However, it is still possible that students found in violation of the student code will still be disciplined.

Overall, Romano said that students celebrated Unofficial less recklessly than past years.

“I thought it did go better in the respect that the classrooms weren’t disturbed, and we didn’t have any fatalities,” Romano said. “Really, our main goal is to keep students safe.”

Alcohol citations

During the bar sweeps, 11 bars were checked for underage drinkers. The results are as follows:

  • Station 211, 211 E. Green St. – 12 cited
  • C.O. Daniel’s, 608 E. Daniel St. – 12 cited
  • White Horse Inn, 112 E. Green St. – 10 cited
  • Clybourne, 706 S. Sixth St. – 11 cited
  • Kam’s, 618 E. Daniel St. – 8 cited
  • Joe’s Brewery, 706 S. Fifth St. – 7 cited
  • It’s Brother’s Bar, 613 E. Green St. – 7 cited
  • Legends, 522 E. Green St. – 4 cited
  • Firehaus, 708 S. Sixth St. – 2 cited
  • Bar Louie, 510 E. John St. – 1 cited
  • Murphy’s Pub, 604 E. Green St. – 1 cited

Source: Champaign Police Department press release