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A Chicago Party Bus Booze Crackdown Could Be Coming Soon

By Ted Cox | October 14, 2015 1:40pm | Updated on October 15, 2015 1:15pm
 The City Council's senior alderman is calling for a crackdown on rowdy
The City Council's senior alderman is calling for a crackdown on rowdy "party buses."
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Flickr/Tyler Bedgood

CITY HALL — The City Council's senior alderman is calling for a crackdown on rowdy "party buses."

Ald. Edward Burke (14th) proposed a new ordinance at Wednesday's City Council meeting calling for the buses and trolleys to be more strictly regulated.

Burke's proposal comes after fight on a party bus led to a shooting in the South Loop last weekend, which left three people wounded.

"With the increasing popularity and proliferation of party buses in Chicago, we need to take reasonable steps to ensure that underage drinking does not occur on these vehicles," Burke said. "By doing so, we hope to ensure that our young people do not avail themselves of an easy opportunity to evade the law."

The ordinance would require that all "charter party" buses, trolleys or limos have alcohol sold by a licensed seller, and that someone 25 or older would be assigned to check the IDs of all aboard to make sure no one under 21 is drinking.

According to Burke, it’s meant to “ensure that those entities chartering the party bus are licensed to sell alcohol in the City of Chicago.” The ordinance specifically requires that “the operator of the vehicle receives proof that the charter party is licensed to sell alcoholic liquor in accordance with … the Municipal Code.”

Yet at least one bus owner who declined to be quoted suggested it would constitute an unwelcome intrusion and an unnecessary hassle. Others said they wanted to study it more before commenting.

Aldermen Willie Cochran (20th), Christopher Taliaferro (29th), Anthony Napolitano (41st) and Ariel Reboyras (30th), chairman of the Public Safety Committee, joined in sponsoring the proposal.

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