ellman 011121SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) has taken action to remove an antiquated law that prohibits drinking alcohol on trains, which hasn’t been enforced in nearly a century.

“Last year I learned of this law and was surprised. People have technically been breaking the law by ordering drinks on the Amtrak,” Ellman said. “There’s no reason why responsible adults shouldn’t be able to enjoy these types of beverages on a train.”

House Bill 3878 repeals the Railroad Intoxicating Liquor Act of 1911, which prohibits drinking alcohol on trains and around train stations, and gives conductors the ability to arrest violators and charge them with a Class C misdemeanor.

“Just because a law isn’t generally enforced, doesn’t mean that it can’t be,” Ellman said. “Today, many trains include alcoholic beverages on their menus.”

The measure passed the Senate with a vote of 51-0-0 and now goes to the governor’s desk, where it will await being signed into law. 

“This law hasn’t been enforced since the 1920s, during Prohibition,” Ellman said. “Last year COVID-19 sidelined this legislation, but it’s time to get back on track by repealing this archaic and arbitrary law.”

Ellman is also encouraging people to use safe transportation, such as Metra, as an alternative to driving under the influence.