CITY HALL — Late-night partiers would no longer be able to buy one last drink from liquor stores after midnight under a proposal set to be approved next week by the City Council.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said the measure was designed to reduce public drunkenness in areas of the city that attract revelers reluctant to let the night end.
The measure to ban the sale of wine or liquor containers with less than 25 fluid ounces and beer containers with less than 41 ounces won the unanimous approval of the City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection Wednesday after several Lakeview residents said they feared leaving their apartments late at night.
“After midnight, the people who want to get drunk and the criminals who want to rob them all show up together,” said Ellen Hughes, who lives near the Belmont CTA station.
Stores could resume selling single servings of booze at 7 a.m., under the plan that also prevents stores with packaged-goods liquor licenses from giving away the tiny bottles.
East Lake View resident Loretta Quijas said she has to “kick cans and bottles out of her way” while she walks her 13-year-old daughter to school.
“Once the sun goes down, you have to be trapped in your house for a certain period of time," Quijas said. "You don’t know what you’re gonna see … when you come out on the street the next day.”
Lincoln Park Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) said the practice has been "somewhat of a problem" in her "youthful ward" with its concentration of DePaul University students and young professionals.
"We expect our neighborhood package-goods people to very carefully card people," she said Thursday. "But package-goods sellers don't have a duty the way establishments have to make sure people aren't being overserved."
Smith, who signed on as a co-sponsor, said the new ordinance was intended to curtail people being denied service at a bar or restaurant, "so you just go down the street to somewhere else and grab a single serving." Smith called it "a matter of public safety that people not be overserved."
The full City Council is expected to vote on the measure Sept. 6, with Smith predicting easy passage.