Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Champaign bars in the news

Champaign taking on bar owners over underage drinking

Some highlights...

Champaign plans to issue city citations to bars where minors are frequently found in possession of alcohol.
So, if you are a bar where minors go, you can expect to possibly get fined.

Mayor Jerry Schweighart, who is also the city's liquor commissioner, said the city is working to establish a format in which liquor-license holders, after a certain number of minors have been ticketed, will also face city penalties.
The article doesn't say how many tickets will cause the bar to receive a fine.

Penalties could be up to a 30-day suspension, fines or a combination, Schweighart said. City attorneys are working on the details, and no date to begin the new procedures has yet been determined, he said.
The article then goes on to talk about a "Fall Barscramble". Almost promoting it, as opposed to talking about the actual story. It spends 7 paragraphs talking about the barscramble.

The article then goes to talk about how bars get penalized for underaged drinking.

This seems to be an example of how most of the townies hate students. The article is clearly aimed at making bars look bad. (It also is trying to demonize underage drinking). If the city has a problem with all the underage drinking, then they should put that fine money to use and create a place where underage people would want to go. Until there is a viable alternative to the campus bars, then people underage will go to the campus bars. Unless it's strictly enforced that no one under 21 can enter a bar, there will be underage drinking at bars.

When there's greater enforcement at the bars, people who want to drink will then go to other less supervised places (parties). I'd assume binge drinking at bars is less of a problem than at kegger parties; I know it is from my experience.

Also, underage clubs have a stigma attached to them. That stigma will have to be removed before it will be an acceptable place for people under 21 to go.

I find it also interesting, that most of the bars that are the problem, are in Campus. Do I know what bars are in campus? No. Why don't I know what bars are in campus? Because I don't go to campus. Why don't I go to campus? Because I don't want to be the creepy old man at the campus bar. Am I the only person who feels that way? Probably not.

So what does that mean? That means that, most likely, no other townies (over college age) go to the campus bars. The people complaining about underage drinking at campus bars, are only the politicians. Locals aren't going to Kam's on Friday nights and being offended by all those 19 year old's drinking. It's the mayor of Champaign who doesn't like it. Does he go to Kam's on Friday night to have a beer, and to enjoy himself? Or if he does go there, is it to see how many underage drinkers there are?

My solution? Do I have one?

Until Champaign provides a viable alternative to campus bars, (that doesn't have the stigma attached to it of under 21 clubs) there will be an issue of underage drinking.

The options are either:

Lowering the drinking age.

Creating a place for 18-20 year olds to go.

Or, stopping the punishment of people for breaking a bad law.

Until any of those happen, there will still be a problem of underage drinking in Champaign.

Why was Stage 2 in Peoria successful? Because people under 21 couldn't get into bars.

No comments: