Will the homeowner be liable if someone leaves his or her place drunk and gets in an accident? 1 Answers as of July 11, 2017

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Laws of this sort are called Social Host Liability Laws. These laws were an extension of Dram Shop laws, which put responsibility onto a liquor store, bar, or restaurant when a guest was served too much alcohol and injured someone. Illinois law has long rejected Dram Shop laws and Social Host Liability laws. Illinois does not have Social Host Liability Laws for adults drinking in someone's home. Illinois does have a fairly new law called 740 ILCS 58/ Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act. If an adult provides alcohol or illegal drugs to those under age 21, the adult may be liable for resulting injuries to persons or property. In addition, an adult that allows their home or other space, such as a rented hotel room, to be used for those under 21 to consume alcohol or use illegal drugs, that adult may be charged with a misdemeanor. If a death results, the adult may be charged with a felony. However, whether or not the law makes a person liable for a guest leaving the home drunk, morality and decency and good citizenship say we should not allow people to drive or walk off while impaired. Plenty of people have made a quick call to police to give the description of a car being driven by a drunken friend or relative who insists on driving while impaired. If you are hosting an event for those under 21, don't allow them to be served alcohol or drugs. If you are hosting an event for those over 21, do not over serve alcohol. This can become complicated if a person routinely gets drunk when alcohol is available. That's when you should consider cutting that person from the invitation list or insist they have a designated driver, or refrain from serving any alcohol or actually serve alcohol, rather than allowing guests to help themselves. That happens best if you hire a licensed bartender for the event. Bartenders who have the required certificates are listed on a state website. You can find out who is licensed to serve alcohol in Illinois by going to the Illinois BASSET Card Lookup site. These people are trained to properly serve alcohol.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 7/11/2017
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