Under Illinois law, you can be found guilty if you knew that any such person under the age of 21 is in possession of or is consuming any alcoholic beverage, and that you let the underage drinker leave the residence in an intoxicated condition. If the underage drinker drives and gets in an accident where someone is injured, you as the party host could be held liable for both civil and criminal penalties. Penalties can include prison time and a steep fine. Penalties for underage drinkers who drive are also severe. For a first conviction, the person can lose their driving privileges for a minimum of two years, and receive a possible one-year prison term and a fine up to $2,500.
Legal FAQs: Drinking Laws
Yes. It is illegal for anyone to have an open container of alcohol or to drink alcoholic beverages in a vehicle, and both driver and passengers may be issued a traffic citation. If there is a second offense within one year, the driver’s license will be suspended for one year. Any driver under age 21 also faces the loss of driving privileges for one year for the first conviction and revocation of driving privileges for a subsequent conviction.
Passengers on chartered buses used for non-school purposes, or in motor homes, mini motor homes and limousines are exempt.
If the parents were truly unaware, then the kids will be held responsible, according to state law. But once the parents become aware of the situation, they are expected to take immediate action. Illinois law requires parents to be in the home with their children if drinking occurs – whether it is for religious, cultural or personal reasons.
The Secretary of State suspends driver’s licenses of persons underage who possess alcohol. The use of a false I.D. card to purchase alcohol is unlawful and can lead to a substantial fine and jail time, and can be prosecuted as a felony. In addition to punishments for underage youths, parents and hotel/motel employees, who knowingly allow underage consumption of alcohol on their premises, are subject to fines of up to $2,500 and imprisonment for one year.
Inform your teen of the legal consequences. In Illinois, there is a "Use It & Lose It" zero tolerance law for persons under age 21. Drivers under 21 who have illegally consumed any amount of alcohol (even a "taste") are considered to be "driving under the influence" (DUI) and are subject to penalties of driver's license suspension for a minimum of two years, possible imprisonment for up to 12 months, 100 hours of community service and a fine of up to $2,500. The penalties get much stiffer for second and third convictions. In addition, the violator can be ordered to participate in a program that includes visits to morgues or facilities that treat DUI victims.