A proposal by a Southwest Side alderman could help to prevent a return of the rampant drinking and rowdy behavior at Chicago's South Side Irish Parade.
The annual Irish parade was canceled for two years after a series of fights and arrests in the neighborhood around the parade route on South Western Avenue. A more "family friendly" parade returned to the 19th ward last year.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Ald. Matthew O'Shea plans to stiffen penalties for violations near a parade route. Under his proposal, which moved a step closer to approval on Thursday, maximum fines for having open liquor on the street and public urination or defecation would double to $1,000 if the offenses were committed within 800 feet of a parade.
The violations could also see perpetrators behind bars with open liquor violations punishable by up to six months in jail and public urination or defecation violations punishable by five to 10 days behind bars.
Minors arrested for public intoxication or for buying alcohol near a parade would face a $500 fine or 25 hours of community service.
The rules also would apply to other parades.
Ald. O'Shea's plan passed the Public Safety Committee last week and will head to the City Council for consideration on Wednesday.
"We were very successful this year, but in working with law enforcement officials and people that worked on the parade, everybody was in agreement: last year was great, we didn't have any real problems, but the idiots will come back in '13, '14 or '15. It's just a matter of time," O'Shea said.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore