New Illinois Law to Curb Underage Drinking, Charge Adults - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

New Illinois Law to Curb Underage Drinking, Charge Adults


ILLINOIS - A new "Social Host Law" goes into effect New Year's Day which will hope to combat underage drinking.

On midnight January 1, 2013, the new legislation closes a loophole of legal accountability on those who knowingly allow alcohol consumption by minors.

Violators of the social host law will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than $500 when they knowingly authorize or permit underage drinking in their home. If this activity results in great bodily harm or death to any person, the individual is subject to a Class 4 felony.

However, a person will not be in violation if he or she has taken all reasonable steps to prevent this activity from occurring. Also, no charges will be filed if assistance is requested from law enforcement after discovery of the illegal activity.

"By protecting our youth, we protect our future," Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who signed Public Act 97-1049 into law on August 22, 2012, said. "Adults know it is unacceptable to allow underage drinking in their home. By putting a social host law on the books, we are sending a strong message to all adults that they will be held responsible when allowing this harmful activity."

The fact the law goes into effect New Year's night is of no insignificance to those associated with its passing.

"Statistics show that friends and family remain the primary source of alcohol for underage drinking," Illinois Liquor Control Commission Executive Director Gloria L. Materre said. "Just as our liquor licensees are punished when selling to minors all adults will now be subject to penalties should they provide alcohol to minors."


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