CHAMPAIGN -- Unofficial St. Patrick's Day is coming to a close and city leaders say it's been unusually quiet. Police say there haven't been any major problems. Most of the tickets issued were for underage drinking and having alcohol in public. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau finds out there's still plenty of chaos.
A lot of that has been broadcast on Twitter. There have been tweets about people throwing furniture off balconies and a leprechaun getting arrests. Besides that, the sheriff's office says they processed 16 others. Here's a picture they tweeted of their first official jail arrival Friday morning.
"Usually it's a pretty good time. There's a lot of people visiting. People just out on campus, usually walking around having a good time."
A good time which can sometimes involve a lot of bad decisions.
"I guess it's up to the students to be kind of responsible about it."
"You know, college kids like to blow off steam and have things like this, have their little special days, but this year it seems like there's a lot more people being responsible and looking out for each other."
Mayor Don Gerard stopped by campus.
"It seems like the chaos is at an extraordinary minimum."
But, as the day went on, things changed.
"It started off slow, then about 10 am, it really got pretty intense. I mean Irish car bombs, beer and all that stuff. I'm legal, so I can do that."
But, that's not the case for everyone. So, police are making sure they keep their eyes on every part of campus. Some patrolled in cars, and passed out tickets. Others walked around and made sure students followed traffic laws.
"They're doing a good job. They only go for the people who are acting outrageous, but if you just keep under control, you're chill."
"We're looking out, trying to keep people safe, trying to encourage people to call if there's trouble."
Various police departments teamed up to patrol campus. More than 100 officers roamed the streets starting at 5 am.
No word on official ticket totals, but last year, more than 300 tickets were issued to students. About 100 of those were for UI students. The rest were to students from other schools.
Original: 5:04 pm
CHAMPAIGN-URBANA -- City leaders say this year's "Unofficial" is starting out pretty calm. Police and city leaders are working to keep things as safe as possible. They say getting students on board helped make a difference.
So far, there have been a couple of arrests; some for underage drinking, some for hosting parties with people under 21. These are things police warned students they'd be on the look out for. More than 100 officers from several departments started patrolling the streets at 5 am.
Mayor Don Gerard is also keeping an eye out. He spent the morning checking in on local businesses making sure they were following the rules. He says, so far, things are going smoothly. He's thanking students for that. Mayor Gerard hopes that responsibility continues throughout the night.
Last year, more than 300 tickets were issued.
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