Ban on alcohol delivery creates mixed feelings

By Jami Peterson

NIU students have differing opinions about the DeKalb City Council’s refusal to allow alcohol with food deliveries.

Council members passed an ordinance Monday night to prohibit A and A-1 licensees of alcohol from delivering alcohol with food in DeKalb.

The ordinance was passed despite pleas from Mike Carpenter, owner of Amnesia, 1000 W. Lincoln Hwy., and Pizzas by Marchelloni, 928 W. Lincoln Hwy., and his attorney Mark Byrd.

Carpenter, who stood with arms crossed and a finger tapping behind his back until the council’s verdict came in at the meeting, said his business has been the only restaurant delivering alcohol with food legally for the past three months. He also said there have been no problems.

“I think (the council’s) decision is terrible,” he said. Carpenter, however, had no comment on whether he would pursue the issue in the future.

He said he checked with the liquor commission and setup a safe system before providing the service. Customers must provide their license numbers and identification upon delivery and sign affidavits declaring they are of legal age to purchase alcohol, he said.

“We wanted to create a new concept for the community, to provide a service that hasn’t been provided before,” he said. “Our purpose was not to provide easy access for minors to purchase alcohol.”

NIU senior Kathy Clancy said the service is no loss because she didn’t even know it existed.

“It’s stupid to deliver alcohol anyway,” she said. “There is no reason to have it delivered to you.”

Although NIU senior Jeremy Walsh said the service shouldn’t be completely dismissed, he said he can see where the council is coming from.

“When people order food they’re usually blitzed, so they don’t need more alcohol anyway,” he said.

At the meeting, Byrd said, “It seems like the idea, if properly carried out, could be a beneficial and convenient service for the community. It might even act as a deterrent to DUIs because people will stay home and order.”

However, council members keyed in on the phrase, “if properly carried out,” expressing concern about who would properly follow through on the deliveries.

Seventh Ward Ald. Bessie Chronopoulus asked, “Who checks to see if it’s properly carried out? The police are busy enough.”

However, NIU junior Mark Lapinski said making the service illegal is no solution. “(Minors) are going to get someone to buy for them anyway,” he said.