Bar penalties to be enforced in August

This summer, several campus bars were issued penalties for serving alcohol to underage patrons. The penalties are set to be enforced during the first couple weeks of the fall semester.

In an effort to curb underage drinking, C.O. Daniel’s, 608 E. Daniel St., will change its required age for entry from 19 to 21 years old when school starts in August. Joe’s Brewery, 706 S. Fifth St., and White Horse Inn, 112 1/2 E. Green St., will be temporarily suspended at the start of the semester.

Susan Hofer, representative from the Liquor Control Commission, said the differences in punishments were based on the number of offenses that were committed.

“The severity of discipline is largely based on whether this is the first, second or third time that the establishment has received citations for underage drinking,” Hofer said.

Recent graduate Danielle Novello said she does not think that changing the entry age for C.O. Daniel’s will do much good.

“I think if the age to get in is raised to 21, there will just be more kids using fake IDs, and more people getting in trouble,” Novello said.

Novello also said that either more people will be given tickets, or the bar will receive less business.

“I remember when I was a freshman that Firehaus made it so you had to be 21 to enter, but then people just stopped going there. They ended up just lowering the age back down to 19, and it seems to be doing a lot better,” Novello said.

Grant Anderson, a recent graduate, had a similar view.

“They’ll be closed by Labor Day. Nobody goes there who is even 19,” Anderson said.

During the summer months, C.O. Daniel’s has been closed off to customers. Whether it will be open for business this coming semester is undetermined at this time. Representatives of the bar were unavailable for comment.

After citations against C.O. Daniel’s were made, the bar had made an agreement with Champaign Liquor Advisory Commission to raise their required entry age to 21, Hofer said. It is a choice on the part of the liquor license holder to make that type of decision, she continued.

Champaign Mayor Gerald Schweighart, who is also the city’s liquor commissioner, was unavailable for comment.

According to a monthly discipline report by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, agents from the Champaign Police Department and Illinois State police regularly perform Campus/Tap detail, or bar checks, in which they hand out citations for any violations related to underage drinking.

When bar checks are done, the Campus Tap agents check to see if bars are violating the Champaign City Ordinance which states that no license employee can “knowingly, recklessly or negligently” allow underage drinking to occur.

“I think it’s all pretty funny,” Novello said. “It’s amusing to see that they’re trying to stop underage drinking from happening. Nothing they do can ever really work. Even if kids aren’t able to drink in the bars, they’ll be drinking somewhere less safe like a house party.”

According to the Liquor Commission Control report, for the month of May, The Clybourne, 706 S. Sixth St., was issued 15 citations, Firehaus, 708 S. Sixth St., was issued two citations, and C.O. Daniel’s was issued nine citations.

Other bars targeted and found to be in violation of the Champaign City Ordinance included White Horse Inn, Bradley’s Country, 1906 W. Bradley Ave., and Kam’s, 618 E. Daniel St., according to the report.