Naperville's Underage Smackdown
Chicagoist is a red-blooded, law abiding American, we take our hat off at baseball games, and never jaywalk. But a new law in Naperville criminalizing the mere proximity to underage drinking for people under 21 demonstrates that it is possible for governments to violate civil rights and have a stick up their collective butt at the same time.
The Chicago Tribune quotes Naperville Police Sgt. Joel Truemper, "If you are at a party [where underage drinking is taking place] and you are under 21, you don't belong there, and you need to leave. We're trying to protect people." Maybe so, Chicagoist has known lots of underage drinkers to be stupid and get alcohol poisoning and the like, but really, arresting people? Offenders get a minimum $75 fine and a court appearance.
Naperville, a town that seems to have little for their police to do, is acting a bit silly, we think. And we wonder if there are better ways to combat underage drinking other than issuing college and high school kids fines. To put things in perspective, Berkeley, California decided a while ago that criminalizing drug use was useless, so they passed an ordinance that made marijuana possession to be the last thing enforced by police. Jaywalking first, possession second.
Chicagoist thanks you for reading this rant.