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Liquor Cont. Com. v. City of Calumet City

APRIL 23, 1975.

LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

THE CITY OF CALUMET CITY ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DONALD J. O'BRIEN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE JOHNSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (hereinafter plaintiff) seeks to declare unconstitutional certain ordinances passed by the City of Calumet City and the City of Berwyn (hereinafter defendants) which limit the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages to persons of at least 21 years of age. Following a hearing, an order was entered by the Honorable Donald J. O'Brien which granted the motions for summary judgment filed on behalf of the defendants. Plaintiff appeals from that order.

The following issues are dispositive of this appeal:

1. Whether the power to establish the minimum age at which persons may purchase or consume alcoholic beverages is within the "government and affairs" of a home-rule unit;

2. Whether the terms of the Illinois constitution of 1970 or the enactments of the state legislature have preempted the power of home-rule units to establish a minimum drinking age; and,

3. Whether the establishment of a minimum age for the sale and consumption of alcoholic liquors at 21 is unreasonable or discriminatory.

The facts are undisputed. On October 1, 1973, Illinois House Bill No. 200 (Public Law 78-26) became effective. It provides that 19 and 20 year olds may lawfully purchase and consume beer and wine. *fn1 Under the prior State law, the sale, gift and delivery of all alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, to persons under 21 years of age were prohibited. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 43, §§ 131, 134a, 183.

Defendants passed ordinances, pursuant to their authority as home-rule units in October 1973 which in effect adopted the age limitation that had been applicable under the prior State law. The City of Calumet City adopted an ordinance which prohibited the sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, to persons 19 and 20 years old and further prohibits the holder of a retail liquor license from allowing any person under 21 years of age from remaining upon premises which are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages at retail. The ordinance adopted by the City of Berwyn prohibits the holder of a retail liquor license from selling, giving or delivering alcoholic beverages, including wine and beer, to persons 19 and 20 years old and prohibits persons 19 and 20 years old from purchasing alcoholic beverages from any retail liquor dealer.

The reasons the State law was modified by defendant Calumet City are set forth in a lengthy preamble to the ordinance in question, a portion of which states:

"* * * WHEREAS, the corporate authorities of the City of Calumet City believe that the public health, safety, morals and welfare of the residents of the City and those persons who enter the territorial jurisdiction of the City would not be served by a lowering of the permissible age at which persons may purchase, receive or consume alcoholic beverages; and,

WHEREAS, the lowering of the legal age for the purchase and consumption of beer and wine would create substantial new problems of police enforcement; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Calumet City is located adjacent to the Illinois-Indiana border and the State of Indiana possesses a liquor law which establishes 21 as the uniform age for the purchase and consumption of intoxicating beverages; and,

WHEREAS, if the City of Calumet City adopted the newly diminished state standard it would receive a large influx of out of state residents desirous of taking advantage of lower drinking age; and,

WHEREAS, it is the public policy of the City of Calumet City to have a uniform minimum drinking age and that the corporate authorities believe that such minimum drinking age should be 21 years; * * *."

Defendant City of Berwyn likewise indicated in its preamble a belief that allowing persons 19 and 20 years old to purchase wine and beer "would be deleterious to the health, safety and welfare of our community and cause disturbances among our citizens."

Plaintiff brought this action, seeking a declaration that the foregoing municipal ordinances were unconstitutional. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment which were granted by ...


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