CHICAGO
03/12/2012 03:24 pm ET

East St. Louis Liquor Sale Crackdown: Sen. Durbin Speaks Out After Spike In Crime

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's response to recent violence in East St. Louis could spell trouble for late-night partiers in the southwest Illinois region, and elsewhere.

East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks released a statement this weekend announcing all non-casino liquor sales would be halted at 1 a.m., according to the Associated Press.

The move follows a series of violent outbursts at nightclubs in the area, including several shootings over the weekend that resulted in two fatalities and wounded two others, according to STL Today.

Durbin released a statement Monday commending the Mayor's liquor sale ban, and calling for even further action.

"Mayor Parks should announce permanent closure hours at the 'clubs' and liquor stores to protect his residents," Durbin said in a release. "Mayor Parks has to choose whether he was elected to fight for the club owners and absentee liquor store owners or the people of East St. Louis."

In Chicago, similarly violent outbursts tend to spike in bar-lined areas as the weather heats up, but the city has not imposed any sort of liquor sale ban.

Durbin and Parks had clashed for weeks prior to the mayor's decision, with Durbin urging strongly for late-night sale limitations.

"Every credible law enforcement official we have talked to agrees that stopping liquor sales and closing the clubs at a reasonable hour would significantly reduce crime," Durbin's spokesperson, Christina Mulka, wrote in an e-mail to STL Today. "To not take that small step is irresponsible."

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