Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Alderman Wants to Ban BYOB in Dry Precincts

Chicago City Council will take up the measure later this month

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Alderman Wants to Ban BYOB in Dry Precincts

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Chicago aldermen will decide later this month if businesses in the city's dry precincts will be barred from letting their customers consume alcohol on the premises, even if they bring it in themselves.

Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) said her proposal to ban BYOB -- Bring Your Own Bottle -- is in reaction to plans for a new banquet hall in the Austin neighborhood.

"To ensure that they didn’t have patrons falling out of this particular establishment drunk from a precinct that had been voted dry, this was adding protection to a community that had concerns for that,” Graham was quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times as saying.

The City Council’s Committee on Public Safety reluctantly approved the ordinance Thursday.

Under a 79-year-old rule on the books, a precinct can be voted dry if 25 percent of registered voters sign petitions to put the question on the ballot and a majority of voters casting ballots in the next election approve the referendum. Such precincts now cover about 12 percent of the city.

 "It’s not to hinder businesses. It is addressing their concerns. They voted it dry and they don’t want alcohol there," said Graham.

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