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What Is Illinois’ Social Host Law?

Posted on in Premises Liability

Lake County personal injury attorneysAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), More than 4,000 young people pass away every year from complications caused by excessive drinking. It is against the law for people under age 21 to purchase alcohol, but it is estimated that 11 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States is consumed by underage individuals. Underage drinking can have horrific, life-altering consequences—not only for the drinker but for others as well. Young people who do not know how intoxicated they really are may get into catastrophic car accidents that result in serious injuries and death. For all of these reasons, Illinois passed a measure called the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act. According to the act, adults who allow underage individuals to drink may be liable for injuries or deaths caused by drunk driving accidents or by the drinking itself.

Death of Young Girl Prompts Illinois Law

The Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act, or “social host liability act” was enacted in 2004 in response to the death of a young Illinois woman. The 16-year-old was at a friend’s house when she was encouraged by her friends and their father to drink an extreme amount of liquor. According to court documents, her friends, who were 18 and 21 years old at the time, offered her money if she could drink an entire bottle of liquor without losing consciousness or vomiting. The teenager drank the bottle and then became unresponsive.

Although the friends and their father were aware of the teenager’s condition, they did not immediately take her to the hospital for medical treatment. She eventually received medical care, but because treatment was so delayed, she passed away from alcohol poisoning.  The mother of the young girl killed by binge drinking brought a wrongful death claim against the family that encouraged her to drink to excess. However, the circuit court of Cook County dismissed the case. As a response, the Illinois state legislature passed the law now referred to as the social host law.

According to Illinois’ social host law, an adult who supplies a minor with alcohol or drugs may be liable for any property damage, injuries, or death caused by the minor’s intoxication. Social host liability can apply to deaths or injuries caused by drunk driving accidents, fireworks injuries, slip and fall injuries, and more.

Contact a Waukegan Personal Injury Lawyer

If another party’s recklessness, negligence, or wrongdoing caused your loved one to be injured or killed, contact a skilled Lake County personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 and schedule a free, confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm

https://www2.illinois.gov/ilcc/education/pages/parental-responsibility/know-the-law.aspx

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