CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — With some New Year’s revelers planning to celebrate on party buses this weekend, city officials said they plan to check buses to make sure no one is illegally carrying drugs or guns, and the companies have the proper licenses.
Earlier this year, the city imposed new rules on party buses, and Chicago Department Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Rosa Escareno said a number of party bus companies based in the suburbs are not in compliance.
“If you’re planning to book a party bus, please make sure that they’re properly licensed, otherwise you and your friends could literally be left out in the cold,” she said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re asking the consumers to take that additional step, because it’s really the companies that should be providing you that assurance.”
Town Hall District Police Cmdr. Marc Buslik said party buses have created their share of problems with violence, and the city and police won’t stand for it.
“A number of the patrons that are on the party bus are carrying firearms, and drinking to excess. Mix those two things together, we get the kind of problems that we’ve seen,” he said
Buslik said police will be watching this weekend to make sure party buses are complying with new rules requiring security guards, cameras, and other safeguards.
Bus company owners, drivers, or security guards also must take steps to make sure no passengers are illegally carrying firearms or drugs.
“When business owners run their operations out of compliance, or without the proper safety protocols in place, it can put us all at risk, and in some instances contribute to violence,” Buslik said.
Party buses that violate the city’s rules could be fined $1,000 to $5,000.