Are you familiar with the Illinois Social Host Law?
According to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, when kids drink alcohol, 65% of the time it is consumed at home or a friend’s house. The Illinois Social Host Law holds parents and other adults
accountable for knowingly permitting underage youth to consume alcoholic beverages at their residence
or on other property they own or otherwise control.
The law sends a message that:
• hosting underage drinking parties is unacceptable conduct;
• empowers concerned citizens to report suspected underage drinking; and
• provides law enforcement with a tool to address underage drinking parties that are a threat to public health.
There are many tragic health, social, and economic problems that result from underage drinking, including but not limited to:
• Injury and death
• Violent crimes
• Injuries (e.g., burns, falls, and drowning)
• Brain impairment
• Alcohol dependence
• Risky sexual activity/unplanned pregnancy
• Academic problems
• Alcohol and drug poisoning
Penalties for providing alcohol to minors
If you allow or host a party at your house and provide alcohol to people under age 21 (or if you know or should have known that they are drinking alcohol), you are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. This will result in a fine.
If a minor who was drinking at your house injures or kills someone, you are guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Note that you are held responsible regardless if you are the one who provides the alcohol AND regardless if you are home or not. You will not be guilty of violating the law if you are the first one request help from the police to help remove the underage drinkers and stop the gathering.