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Chicago Cracks Down on Illegal Party Buses

By Molly Zilli, Esq. on June 11, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Whether celebrating a bachelor or bachelorette, your bestie's birthday, a reunion, a wedding, or just the fact that it's Friday, you've probably been in or considered hiring a party bus. And while it can make bar-hopping a lot more fun and efficient, it doesn't take mental gymnastics to think of all the potential hazards either.

Citing such safety concerns, the City of Chicago announced it will be cracking down on illegal party busses thanks to a new agreement between various state entities. So, if you're a party bus entrepreneur, better make sure you're on the up-and-up.

Crackdown for Support Public Safety

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Wednesday that the crackdown on party buses was meant to build on the city's efforts to "keep residents and visitors safe." He explained, "Party busses ... must support public safety, not work against it."

One of the requirements, an ordinance passed last year, applies to all chartered vehicles with more than 15 riders where alcohol is present, or which stops at venues that serve alcohol. These party providers are required to have a security guard riding along, a camera inside the vehicle, and must inform passengers of prohibited behaviors. They also have to post signage inside the vehicle proving their registration.

Police Armed With Greater Access to Driver, Car Info

Another part of the party bus crackdown involves law enforcement. Mayor Emanuel outlined a new agreement between the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois Secretary of State, and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer protection. It's expected that the partnership will give law enforcement greater ability to enforce the law since the city will now have more access to state information regarding vehicle plates, VIN numbers, drivers' license numbers, and drivers' records.

Some industry leaders argue that the crackdown goes too far, hurts legal operators, and adds a significant cost burden on businesses and consumers alike. Whether you live in Chicago or another party-loving city, the cost of a ticket can be significant. Contact a local attorney who can help you fight these types of charges and citations.

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