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Legal FAQ’s

Local Attorney Scott Gibson Explains Illinois Alcohol Responsibility Act and Risks to Adults Who “Host/Serve”

Letter to the Editor, Pioneer Press Lake Forest, May 14, 2009:
Read it here.

Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act

Available from the Illinois General Assembly’s website, read all about Illinois statute 740 ILCS 58.

Legal Frequently Asked Questions

We would like to have a post prom party for our kids. If some teens bring in alcohol without our knowledge, can we be held responsible?
Yes, if it can be proven that you were aware of the alcohol use, or should have known (even if you didn’t provide it), then you may be held responsible. The Hutsell case in Deerfield was a good example of this; in fact, the penalties are stiffer today, and such actions (or inaction) would constitute a felony if someone were seriously hurt or killed. The best thing you can do is to make the house rules clear to the guests and their parents and to regularly monitor the party. If you find alcohol, remove it immediately. If you suspect kids are under the influence, call their parents for pickup. If the party or individuals are out of control, call the police.

I am having a graduation party, inviting my child’s friends and their parents. If their parents are present, is it okay for the kids to drink alcohol?
No. While you are allowed to give your own children alcohol in your home, it is illegal in Illinois to provide or permit those under 21 to drink, even if their parents are present. You could be held responsible for any problems that might occur from the youths’ alcohol consumption.

I am concerned about some specific kids and alcohol or drug use in their homes, but I worry about reporting my concerns and any repercussions doing so may have on my children. What can I do?
It is difficult to confront another parent about these issues. You can do so in a friendly way, with a call saying you are concerned about the kids and drugs or alcohol and asking them how they feel. A frank talk with your teen and limits on visiting that home also would be recommended. You may also call the Lake Forest or Lake Bluff police to report your concerns before or during an event. They need not use your name but will check out any reports. Lake Forest: 234-2601, Lake Bluff 234-2153.

Alcohol Policy Information

State Laws regarding Underage drinking (as of 2007)