What's legal, what's not?

June 25, 2009 Can you bring alcohol to your favorite outdoor festival? Ride your bike on the sidewalk or walk your dog without a leash?
A look at some laws you may not even know exists.
Joining us this morning is Attorney Thomas Glasgow with a rundown of what's legal.. what's not.

Have Alcohol at the festivals?
It is illegal in the City of Chicago to:
1) bring alcohol to the festival
2) buy alcohol illegally at the festival
3) public intoxication at the festival

Major City festivals included in this ordinance
-Navy Pier
-Cook County Forest Preserve
-Millennium Park

Suburban festivals
Some alcohol is allowed:
-Arlington Heights
-Forrest Park

No alcohol is allowed:
-Oakbrook Terrace
-Orland Park

Barbecue on your porch, deck or balcony?

-Legal. Nothing in the city's building code prohibits the use of grills in those locations, though some property managers and condominium associations have rules prohibiting it.

-Still, the Fire Department discourages using charcoal-lit grills on old wooden porches close to buildings because they can be a fire hazard.

Ride a skateboard on the sidewalk?
-Legal, except in the business district (the boundaries, starting from northeast corner: Division Street west to La Salle Street, south to Chicago Avenue, west to Halsted Street, south to Roosevelt Road and east to the lake).

-Punishment: Fine of $25 to $200.

Ride your bike on the sidewalk?
-Illegal if you're older than 12, unless the sidewalk is designated and marked as a bike route. Nobody is allowed to ride on a sidewalk in the business district.
-Punishment: $25 fine, or $50 fine if on North Sheridan Road between West Ardmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road.

Walk your dog without a leash?
-Illegal. If you're outside your property, your dog has to be restrained with a leash unless it is within an area specifically designated as a dog park.
-Punishment: $300 fine; $300-to-$1,000 fine if there's damage to another person's property; $1,000-to-$10,000 fine, up to six months in jail or up to 100 hours of community service if someone is severely injured or dies.

Not pick up after your dog?
-Illegal. You must pick up after your pet (an exception is made for the blind and their guide dogs).

Punishment: Fine of $50 to $500.

Listen to headphones while riding your bike?
Legal. It is not addressed in the municipal code, but the practice is discouraged.

Hang out at the beach at midnight?
Illegal. Beaches and parks are closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
-Punishment: Fine of up to $500.

Make a U-turn?
-Illegal if it's within 100 feet of an intersection unless posted signs permit it, city law says.
-U-turns are not allowed in the area bounded by Wacker Drive on the north and west, Michigan Avenue on the east and Congress Parkway on the south unless signs permit it.
-Punishment: Fine of $90 to $500.


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