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In advance of Unofficial

Latest: 10:02 pm, 2/24/14, Monday UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- City leaders are taking extra precautions for the upcoming Unofficial St. Patrick's Day, but a UI parent wants to do even more.
Latest: 10:02 pm, 2/24/14, Monday
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- City leaders are taking extra precautions for the upcoming Unofficial St. Patrick's Day, but a UI parent wants to do even more. She wants stricter rules for underage drinkers and her job title may help her get it done.

Not only is she a parent, but she's also a member of the Illinois Liquor Commission. She would like to see the bar entry age be 21 year-round. She brought it up at the Annual College Town Summit last week.

Champaign Mayor Don Gerard changed the bar entry age for Unofficial, but said that's where it ends. Gerard says there are a lot of things a 20-year old could do at a bar including watching a band, ballgame or getting something to eat.

For Unofficial, the city is also restricting keg sales and will crack down on house parties. The mayor said no one has come to him directly about the entry age change. He's not expecting anything more to come from this.

There is a bill which would give underage drinkers a pass. If a person has alcohol poisoning, he or she wouldn't be charged with underage drinking, and anyone who calls and stays until help arrives couldn't be charged either. The bill is starting to make its way through state legislation.
Update: 10:24 pm, 2/20/14, Thursday
CHAMPAIGN-URBANA -- You'll notice something a little different about MTD buses around town. And, it might make you think twice.

There are new signs promoting safety during this year's Unofficial St. Patrick's Day on twelve of them. MTD teamed up with the UI's Student Affairs Office on the project.

The signs tell everyone who picks up a green beer, "Unofficial can get you officially arrested." More than 250 people were arrested last year during the event. Police say they had more criminal arrests than in 2011.
Original: 10:10 pm, 2/18/14, Tuesday
CHAMPAIGN -- Special rules are being issued ahead of next month's Unofficial St. Patrick's Day. Mayor Don Gerard issued an emergency order Tuesday. It's for businesses which sell liquor within the boundaries of Springfield, Wright, Kirby and Neil streets.

Restrictions include no selling or drinking alcohol between 6 am - 10 am that weekend, no sale of pitchers of beer, no one under 21 will be allowed in bars and only one keg will be allowed per residence.

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