LAKEVIEW — If you're heading to Pride this month, you might want to swap your beer for a water bottle.
Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris, who heads the Town Hall police district, said officers will be targeting public drinking along the parade route and at Pride concerts.
"It's important for everybody to know that those caught drinking on the public way will be given a citation," Voulgaris said, "and because it's in the vicinity of the parade, it's a $1,000 [maximum] fine."
City Hall passed an ordinance last year increasing fines for public drinking and public urination within 200 feet of a parade route. Fines now range from $500 to $1,000.
When the ordinance passed, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said he wasn't worried about a police crackdown impacting Pride festivities as much as they did at the South Side Irish Parade.
"I really defer to the police on how they manage that and figure out what's in the best value of their time in the limited resources we have," he said at the time.
On Monday, however, his spokeswoman said he backed the crackdown.
"He's supportive of zero tolerance for drinking on the public way, and he thinks this increased fine is a good deterrent for that," Tunney spokeswoman Erin Duffy said.
Voulgaris promised his officers would target the parade route, which will run from Montrose Avenue to Diversey Avenue along Broadway and Halsted Street, on June 29.
They will also be on the lookout for public drinking at Pride concerts near Waveland Avenue on June 21-22. Jennifer Hudson, Mya and Kaci Battaglia are slated to perform.
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