Area law enforcement agencies and University of Illinois officials urged safety and responsibility for the annual “Unofficial” St. Patrick’s Day, held in the campus area of the University of Illinois on March 3, 2017.
Routine bar checks, canvassing of campus, and wellness checks of participants were some of the precautions officials took on the day of the event. The University, local Police and the Champaign County Community Coalition led alcohol safety and responsibility efforts leading into the date, including door-to-door and resource mailings to students, an online “Rethink the Drink” campaign, police safety presentations to sororities, fraternities, and student groups, and promotion of the University of Illinois’s Medical Amnesty and Good Samaritan Procedures.
“Our community puts a great deal of effort and resources into alcohol safety education around this event and we do our best to enforce any violations of the law to further help with awareness and injury prevention,” stated Champaign Police Sergeant Joe Ketchem.
Though these efforts helped contribute to the lowest number of violations written in the last ten years, this year 114 citations were issued to participants, and the campus community very tragically lost a student due to an accidental fall from an apartment balcony.
“This is obviously our gravest concern as we reach out to students,” shared Sgt. Ketchem. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Jonathan Morales’ family. Our hope is that his life be honored and remembered; and that the heartache of such accidents not be dismissed by those who take part in this event.”
Of the ordinance violations this year, there were:
- (41) Minors in Possession
- (9) Adult Responsibility, for alcohol-related violations at residences
- (52) Open Alcohol/Public Possession
- (27) Medical Calls for Service, resulting in 23 transports to area hospitals. Area hospitals reported 30 total patients treated for intoxication issues directly related to Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day
Complete ordinance violation and arrest data for Unofficial 2017 is identified HERE.
Patrol leadership for Unofficial was provided by the Police Departments of Champaign, University of Illinois, Urbana, Parkland College, Illinois State, and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.
Media Contact: Sergeant Joe Ketchem | firstname.lastname@example.org | 217.403.6981