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What Are the Illinois Liability Laws Regarding Alcohol?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Winnebago County personal injury attorney drunk driver

Have you ever been to a bar or a party and witnessed someone having too much alcohol to drink? It is a common occurrence for individuals who are underage or who have just recently turned 21 to drink a few too many. When alcohol is involved, accidents with injuries can occur. When you are the injured party, you may be able to hold multiple parties responsible. Illinois has two laws that address the danger that overconsumption can place on others. If you have been injured on account of someone’s level of alcohol consumption, you may be able to prove that the serving party is liable.

Dram Shop Laws

Illinois law provides legal protection to those who have been injured by an intoxicated party. For instance, someone who gets pushed and injured by an intoxicated person at a bar or someone who is hit by a drunk driver may wish to press charges against the intoxicated individual and the bar itself. The person who causes the injury, aka the drunk individual, cannot use Illinois’ dram shop law to his or her benefit. This law is solely for the purpose of providing compensation to the sober, injured individual to make up for any medical costs, time away from work, and emotional distress that the accident may have caused.

In order for these claims to be successful, the injured party must prove five things in their case:

  1. The individual who caused the injury was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

  2. The vendor or bar provided the intoxicated person with alcohol (and he or she consumed it).

  3. This alcohol that was served to the accused person caused his or her intoxication.

  4. The accident and injuries occurred because of the accused individual’s level of intoxication.

  5. As a result of the accident, the victim suffered injuries or property damage.

Social Host Liability

For obvious reasons, any adults who are found hosting an event where underage alcohol consumption occurs in their home can be held liable for the underage drinking itself and any resulting injuries or deaths that result from the underage, intoxicated parties. If a homeowner allows or hosts a party at his or her home and provides the alcohol, he or she can be charged with a Class 4 misdemeanor. Someone may be found guilty of this charge whether or not he or she is the person who supplies the alcohol and whether or not he or she is home while it occurs. The charge significantly escalates if anyone from the event injures or kills another person as a result of his or her intoxication. This is a Class 4 felony and can result in a steep fine as well as time behind bars. However, if an individual comes home and discovers that underage drinking going on, he or she may call the police for help removing the underage drinkers and putting a stop to the event. If the homeowner is the first person to call for law enforcement’s assistance, he or she is exempt from any criminal charges.

Contact a Rockford Personal Injury Lawyer 

Being injured as a result of another person’s negligence can be a difficult pill to swallow, especially if the incident was caused by the overconsumption of alcohol. It is an alcohol vendor’s responsibility to not over-serve their customers and it is an adult’s job to keep underage drinking from occurring under their roof. At Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS, our experienced attorneys fight tirelessly for those who have been injured by another person’s negligence, especially when alcohol is involved. Our experienced litigators will defend your right for compensation in a court of law, involving every party who may be responsible for your injuries. For help with you or your loved one’s case, contact our Winnebago County personal injury attorneys today at 815-215-7561 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/ilcc/Education/Pages/Parental-Responsibility/Know-The-Law.aspx

https://courts.illinois.gov/court/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/150.00.pdf

https://www2.illinois.gov/ilcc/News/Pages/2018-Dram-Shop-Liability-Limits.aspx 

 

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