Mayor Lightfoot says, “We are not messing around with this.”
In order to crack down on those violating the government’s stay-at-home order, the city of Chicago has mandated a curfew on liquor stores. As of now, and for as long as the stay-at-home order is in place, liquor stores will be forced to close at 9pm.
Under the new rule, shops that sell things other than liquor (i.e. convenience stores) won’t have to close at 9pm, but won’t be allowed to sell liquor to customers after that hour.
“Everything we’ve done has been with the single-minded goal of saving lives, ending this crises, and getting our city back on track as soon as possible,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot explained in a recent press briefing. She continued that for this reason, there would be a new 9pm curfew on liquor sales in Chicago.
Lightfoot emphasizes that the measure is to be protective rather than punitive. Its necessity, however, has been justified by the severe numbers of patrons violating the stay-at-home order. “While most residents and businesses have been acting responsibly, the reality is that far too many have been congregating at stores that sell alcohol; especially in the evening hour.”
The mayor explained that businesses would be held accountable for violating this and equal measures, and that a failure to comply would result in fines, arrests, and the possibility of getting your liquor license revoked.
Since the stay-at-home order first went into effect, Chicago has issued citations to a number of businesses that were open despite being non-essential or which weren’t abiding by the social distancing regulations. As the Mayor’s Office states, “Recent enforcement measures have led to 21 citations issued for up to $120,000 in fines for eight businesses violating the statewide mandate.”
The liquor curfew will remain in effect as long as the stay-at-home order is in place, which as of now will be through April 30. However, Lightfoot suggests that date may soon be extended.
[featured image source: shutterstock]