The city of Champaign prepares for Unofficial

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - Over 100 police officers will patrol the streets this weekend.

Officers will be cracking down on "Unofficial St. Patrick's Day," in Champaign.

Since 1996, students have celebrated the all- day drinking event.

"It's not worth it, I think it's kind of over hyped," student Noah Chismin said. 

U of I police have spent the past couple weeks talking to students about the safe and responsible use of alcohol and medical amnesty. 

Patrick Wade, Communications Director for the U of I Police Department, says police will be stopping students if they are engaging in unsafe behavior.

In previous years, the event has led to increased arrests and ticketing for intoxication, battery and disorderly conduct.

"Moderation is key, so remember, you know yourself better than anyone else, so don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to do," Wade said.

The normal age to enter campus bars is 19, but this weekend bars will enforce 21 and over policy. 

"If you're not 21, theirs no point in going out and even if you are 21, the bars are going to be absolutely packed," Chismin said.

Officers say students should look out for each other this weekend and make sure they are engaging in safe, legal activities. 

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