Can I Face Legal Consequences for Serving Teens Alcohol in Illinois?

underage consumption
As an Illinois parent, you may wonder what responsibility you have if your teenage children and their friends are drinking alcohol at your home. You may have even heard of some parents thinking it is safer to host and supervise a party than take the chance that their teens are sneaking around. Under Illinois law, if you allow or encourage the drinking of alcohol by minors, you can be held civilly and criminally liable for any injuries and deaths that result.
Civil liability was most recently clarified in 2004, under the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act. This Act allows the victim or the victim's family to bring a civil lawsuit against the person who supplied alcohol or illegal drugs to a minor. The person bringing the lawsuit can be awarded economic damages including medical expenses, non-economic damages including pain and suffering, punitive damages, and other expenses. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this could include injuries suffered on your property as well as liability for motor vehicle accidents that occur because of underage drinking.

Criminal Charges in Illinois For Supplying Teens With Alcohol

To strengthen the criminal consequences of supplying minors with alcohol, in 2013, Illinois passed amendments to the Illinois Liquor Control Act, known as the Social Host Law. Knowingly permitting minors to consume alcohol is now a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of at least $500. If a death or injury results from the drinking, you can be found guilty of a Class 4 felony. This could result in a fine, jail time, or both. The law allows an exception if you request help from law enforcement to stop the party and remove the minors. This exception is only valid if you are the first to call the police. It does not apply if the police show up after a call from a neighbor or any other person. Additionally, you do not need to be at home to be found guilty under the law. Your approval of the event is enough to be found guilty.

Contact A Will County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or your child have been accused of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney protecting you and your future. Contact The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. immediately for a free consultation. We can assist with your case, and we will work with you to build the best possible defense strategy. Contact a Joliet criminal defense attorney at 815-740-4025. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. serves clients in Will County, Grundy County, and the surrounding areas.