Naperville Considers Closing Bars Earlier

Some city councilmembers concerned about increased late night violence and suspected DUI fatal crash earlier this month

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    NEWSLETTERS

    7/29/2014: City Council concerned about increased late night violence and suspected DUI fatal crash earlier this month. NBC 5's Michelle Relerford reports. (Published Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014)

    Last call for alcohol could be coming significantly earlier for Naperville's late night party-goers.

    A number of city councilmen are considering crafting an ordinance that would force bars and restaurants to shut down earlier in the western suburb.

    Businesses currently must stop serving alcohol by 1 a.m. weekdays and 2 a.m. on the weekends, but there's talk about pushing it back 30 or 60 minutes.

    The concern comes after several incidents of late night violence in the downtown area, and a fatal accident earlier this month where a car crashed into a Naperville quarry. The driver was charged with DUI and two of his passengers were killed.

    "You go downtown after 9 o'clock at night. it changes from a family-oriented thing to something like Rush street in Chicago," councilman Doug Krause.

    Council members are also considering other options, such as implementing tougher enforcement of liquor licensing regulations.

    "Right now, it's just background discussion. Ideas about what might be some remedies to keep Naperville a safe desirable community," councilman Steve Chirico said.

    Krause says the earlier hours were also considered in 2012 following the death of Shaun Wild, a Naperville teacher stabbed inside a bar.

    "When there's an accident or a fight and you find the person was overserved and you find out what establishment they came from, that establishment needs to be closed down for a period of time or fined. That hasn't been done in 20 years," Krause said.

    NBC 5 didn't find much support for the idea on Naperville's streets Tuesday.

    "I don't think they need to close them down earlier, but I think there needs to be more police patrols," resident Tammy Kidd-Brown said.

    "It may be more of a management issue. Watch the patrons, make sure they're not getting over served and that there's control inside the bar," resident Mike Eloser said.

    The City Council will discuss the matter at August's meeting, but a proposal has not been formally introduced.