Chicago officials want public drinking crackdown

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Chicago’s mayor wants to increase penalties for gambling as well as drinking and urinating in public.

City officials say quality-of-life crimes have the highest rates of default. As many as 70 percent of offenders ignore administrative hearings and fines.

Under proposals by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that are advancing in the City Council, Chicago would add six months of jail time and double the maximum fine to $1,000 for drinking and urinating on the public way. There’d also be a $400 fine for gambling.

Chicago police contend such crimes can ruin a neighborhood and lead to the more serious problems like prostitution, gang loitering and drug dealing.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has advocated a crackdown on quality-of-life crimes since his appointment by Emanuel.

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