Emergency order for Unofficial filed by Urbana, Champaign mayors


Ben Tschetter

Police officers confront a group celebrating Unofficial at Green and Third streets on March 1, 2019.

By Samantha Boyle and Diana Anghel

Mayor of Urbana and Liquor Commissioner for Urbana Diane Wolfe Marlin, released an emergency order statement Friday afternoon regarding Unofficial St. Patrick’s day.

Class A liquor license holders, within Urbana bounded by West Oregon Street on the North, West Nevada Street on the South, South Goodwin Avenue on the West and South Lincoln Avenue on the East, are restricted in a few ways on the day of Unofficial, March 6:

  • Licensees are not allowed to serve or permit the possession or consumption of alcohol on its premises between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  • No pitchers of alcohol are allowed to be served between 11 a.m. March 6 and 2:30 a.m. March 7.
  • Alcohol cannot be served in glass or metal containers between 11 a.m. March 6 and 2:30 a.m. March 7.
  • No one under 21 is allowed on the premises between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. After 9 p.m. 18- to 20-year-olds are allowed in.
  • Every public entrance to the premises should have at least one employee, who is 21, checking IDs beginning at normal business hours March 6 until 2:20 a.m. March 7.

The statement read that Marlin said she has reasonable belief that Unofficial festivities may be “a threat to the public health, safety and welfare.”

It also stated that in the past, there has been an increase of arrests of intoxicated people during Unofficial and hospital room admissions.

Many establishments have also promoted Unofficial by extending their hours and offering discounts on alcoholic beverages. This, along with several other reasons, has led Marlin to file the emergency order.

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Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feien also issued an emergency order on Friday, placing restrictions on alcohol sales on March 6 to March 7 for all businesses holding a bar or restaurant liquor license.

Similar to the Urbana mayor, Feien stated that Unofficial may be “a threat to public health, safety and welfare” and gave almost the same reasons for the order, such as the promotional efforts that go into the event and the increase in arrests. 

The restrictions apply to all businesses holding a Class A, R, or RT liquor license, within the limits of the Champaign. The mayor states that any licensee found to violate the emergency order will be fined $500.

  • These businesses will be prohibited from serving alcohol between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. on March 6 and March 7.
  • No private events that result in special pricing are allowed from 10 a.m., March 6 to 2:30 a.m., March 8.
  • No beer, wine or spirits will be allowed to be sold in pitchers or by bottle all weekend, with the exception of bottles of beer.
  • At least one employee will need to be present to check IDs at the entrance of each business, to only allow persons of legal age to enter the property.
  • All patrons will need to be 21-years-old or older to enter businesses with a Class A or RT license.
  • No keg permits will be given out.
  • Police may close businesses if pedestrian traffic impedes vehicular traffic.

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Editor’s note: The original version of the article has been updated to include Champaign.