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Ellman: Let people legally drink on trains

Sen. Laura EllmanSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is taking action to remove an arbitrary law that prohibits drinking alcohol and hasn’t been enforced in nearly a century.

“I was shocked to learn that people were technically breaking the law by ordering a glass of wine on Amtrak,” Ellman said. “There’s no reason responsible adults shouldn’t be able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage on a train.”

Senate Bill 2961 repeals the Railroad Intoxicating Liquor Act of 1911, which prohibits drinking alcohol on trains, around train stations and gives conductors the ability to arrest violators and charge them with a Class C misdemeanor.

“This law hasn’t been enforced since the 1920s, during prohibition in this country,” Ellman said. “Just because a law isn’t generally enforced, doesn’t mean that it can’t be. Today, many trains include alcoholic beverages on their menus. It’s time to strike this archaic and arbitrary law off the books in the state of Illinois.”

The legislation has been assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee, where it awaits consideration.

Sen. Laura Ellman

Sen. Laura Ellman

21st District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Appropriations I; Energy and Public Utilities (Vice-Chairperson); Government Accountability/Pensions; Higher Education; Veterans Affairs; Subcommittee on Special Issues (EP).

Associated Representatives:
Amy Grant
Grant Wehrli