Getting caught on Dillo Day

    Don’t want to find yourself here on Dillo Day. Photo by DieselDemon on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.

    If there’s anything you can count on during Dillo Day, aside from invasive townies and merciless Mother Nature, it’s that a lot of people will make a lot of bad decisions. As civility yields to debauchery, what happens if you actually get caught breaking the law on Dillo Day?  We’ll give you some headers on the penal code, in case you need a refresher.

    Public intoxication

    If the empty shelves of liquor stores across Evanston mean anything, it’s that Dillo Day will live up to its reputation. Evanston city ordinances are a bit unclear as to the definition of public intoxication, but that doesn’t mean you can get away scot-free. Although public intoxication is a violation that roughly 100% of Dillo Day attendees could reasonably be suspected of, anyone who is formally accused of it can see a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000.

    Open container

    If it’s a long walk from your drinking site to the Lakefill, it may seem like a good idea to bring your drink with you. Unfortunately, you can’t have an open container of alcohol while on public property, which includes sidewalks, streets, parks and the like. An open container includes things like solo cups, open beer cans, open fifths, etc. In Evanston, an open container citation can set you back $500.

    Supplying alcohol to a minor

    So your friends aren’t of age, but you are and you can spread the wealth, right? Wrong. It’s illegal to purchase or obtain alcoholic beverages and then sell, give, or deliver the beverages to anyone under the age of 21. Violation of this law is a Class A Misdemeanor and penalties include a minimum fine of $500 (with a max of $1000) and a jail sentence of up to one year.

    Underage drinking

    Quite possibly the most prevalent infraction at any university, underage drinking can get you in quite some trouble. If you’re under 21, it’s illegal to possess alcoholic beverages on the street, highway, or any public place or in a place open to the public. If you do it anyway, it’s a Class B Misdemeanor. Additional penalties for the offending minor include a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

    Public indecency

    Although it’s perfectly understandable why you’d want to squeeze in a quick boning in the middle of Deering Meadow, public indecency is actually a big deal. Any, “lewd exposure of the body done with intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of the person” when performed in a “public place,” is grounds for public indecency, a Class A misdemeanor. If you do something dirty in “any place where the conduct may reasonably be expected to be viewed by others,” expect up to a year in jail, and a $2,500 fine.

    Possession of illegal substances

    As the stage lights up to introduce Nelly, quite a few of you will just be lighting up. If you get caught with marijuana, the amount of trouble you’re in depends on how much is on you. If you have less than 2.5 grams, it’s a max of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. If you have 2.5-10 grams, you can get a similar fine, but jail time for up to 6 months. If you have 10-30 grams, prepare to fork up a max of $2,500 and a year in the joint. But what if you have even more hash, or something harder like heroin, cocaine, or LSD? That’s a Class 1 felony, with 4-15 years in a state penitentiary and $25,000 out the window.

    Disturbing the peace

    If you live off-campus and are planning on hosting a social gathering, remember there are probably families and senior citizens conveniently living next door. Any type of noise or event of a “boisterous nature,” at your house that can, “disturb or destroy the peace of the neighborhood in which such building or premises is situated,” or is, “dangerous or detrimental to health” is considered a violation of Evanston city ordinances. You’re looking at a citation, but no fine or prison time here unless your party is also hosting any of the other crimes above.


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