By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco
11:25 AM CST, February 7, 2013
Parade-goers drinking in the street could get slapped with a fine of up to $1,000 under a proposal advanced Thursday by a key City Council committee.
The original proposal would have doubled the fines for drinking in the public way and public urination or defecation while within 200 feet of a parade in progress. However, the proposed ordinance was tweaked to keep the increase in fines but extend the range to 800 feet of a parade route.
The Committee on Public Safety endorsed the amended proposal at its Thursday meeting. The City Council will consider the substitute ordinance at its Wednesday meeting.
The proposal would mean stiffer penalties for spectators of all parades who drink in the street or relieve themselves nearby, but particularly for the ever-popular Gay Pride Parade and South Side Irish Parade, which returned last year after a two-year hiatus.
"It is our hope that this ordinance will help maintain the family-oriented culture and celebration that everyone enjoyed last year," said Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) who proposed the ordinance and whose ward hosts the South Side Irish Parade set for March 10.
Currently, the fine for drinking, urinating or defecating in the public way ranges from $100 to $500. The proposal would double the fines to a range of $500 to $1,000. Any minor who gets busted for being intoxicated now can be fined $25 to $100. But if it is within 800 feet of a parade, they would be fined $500 or required to do 25 hours of community service.The proposed ordinance would not apply to licensed sidewalk cafes.
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