FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims Illinois Banned The Sale Of Alcohol

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims Illinois banned the sale of beer and other alcohol starting on March 30.

Verdict: False

The Illinois government did not ban the sale of alcohol starting on March 30. The alleged news article comes from a prank news website.

Fact Check:

Screen grabs of alleged news articles about bans on alcohol sales have been circulating widely amid state and local governments issuing orders to close non-essential businesses to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

This particular post makes the claim that Illinois banned the sale of beer and other alcohol starting March 30, saying, “Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced on Sunday, under the request of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, that all beer and alcohol sales be temporarily suspended until further notice.”

But Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has not announced a measure to that effect at any point. Had he done so, it would have been picked up by local media outlets, yet none have reported on it. The Daily Caller previously debunked the claim that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot banned the sale of alcohol in Cook County.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission released a statement addressing rumors of the statewide alcohol ban on March 30. (RELATED: Will Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Ban The Sale Of Alcohol Starting In April?)

“This bulletin shall serve to dispel all rumors that have circulated regarding alcohol sales in Illinois,” reads the statement. “Alcohol sales will continue throughout (and beyond the Governor’s Emergency Declaration.”

Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home order on March 21 that also required all non-essential businesses to cease operations in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Illinois. However, establishments that sell “alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages” are considered essential businesses and are “encouraged to remain open,” according to the executive order.

The article URL directs users to Channel22news.com, a website that allows users to create their own news stories for the purpose of pranks. Articles created on the website feature an image of a clown and encourage page visitors to “create a story & trick your friends!”

Though the prank website makes clear that it is satirical in nature, the image shared on Facebook not only fails to issue a similar warning, it portrays the claim as a real news story.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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