Illinois residents who allow underage drinking in their home will face stiff penalties in the new year, thanks to the new "Social Host" law.
Public Act 97-1049 goes into effect on January 1. The law closes a loophole in existing legislation for those who knowingly allow minors to consume alcohol in their home. Those who violate the law will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and face a fine of at least $500.
If someone dies or suffers great bodily harm due to alcohol consumption in the person's home, that person is subject to a Class 4 Felony. However, if a person has taken all reasonable steps to prevent underage drinking in their home, the person will not be found to be in violation of the law. Also, if the person requests help from law enforcement after underage drinking is discovered in their home, no charges will be filed.
"Statistics show that friends and family remain the primary source of alcohol for underage drinking," Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) Executive Director Gloria L. Materre says. "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."
The act was signed into law on August 22, 2012.
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