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U of Illinois beefs up police for drinking event

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say there will be 115 extra police officers on the University of Illinois campus Friday for the annual Unofficial St. Patrick's Day.

But officials say they plan to stress safety over punitive action. It draws thousands of students from the Urbana-Champaign campus and other schools for a day of drinking. In past years hundreds have been ticketed for alcohol-related offenses. In 2006 one died after falling off a motorcycle in an alcohol-related accident.

According to The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/YB7NE2 ), Champaign police Lt. Jim Clark said parties held in homes create more problems than drinking at bars. He advised hosts to keep gatherings small.

The mayors of Champaign and Urbana have issued orders limiting drinking in campus bars by temporarily barring most morning sales and the sale of pitchers of beer.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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