Officials gear up for Unofficial

Local News

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The University of Illinois is trying to educate students on the dangers of excess drinking.

The Rethink the Drink campaign is ramping up in the days before Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day. The goal is to make sure everyone gets home safely.

They say this campaign, and several other factors, have led to Unofficial becoming a much smaller event the past few years.

Officials are combating excessive drinking by going door-to-door to educate students about alcohol poisoning. Leaders say you should keep track of how many drinks you’ve had, pace yourself and keep an eye on friends.

Champaign and Urbana are also going all out to try to stop students from partying too hard this weekend. Emergency orders issued by each city’s mayor, focus on alcohol sales at bars and liquor stores.

Historically, there’s a significant increase in both the number of arrests and emergency room visits. One student died during Unofficial last year after falling off a balcony. It’s not the first death from the annual event.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.