Social Host Law

Did you know the state of Illinois has a “Social Host Law”?

The law states:

In Illinois, the Social Host Law, which went into effect January 1, 2013, holds adults accountable for underage drinking that occurs in the home. There are several parts to this law.

  • If you allow or host a party at your house and provide alcohol to people under age 21 (or if you know or should have known that they are drinking alcohol), you are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. This will result in a fine.  Note that you are held responsible regardless if you are the one who provides the alcohol AND regardless if you are home or not.
  • If a minor who was drinking at your house injures or kills someone, you are guilty of a Class 4 felony. This could result in both a fine and/or jail time.
  • You will not be guilty of violating the law if you request help from the police to help remove the underage drinkers and stop the gathering. This only holds if you make the first one to call—not if the police show up after a complaint from a neighbor and then you ask for help.

In addition, depending on local community ordinances, you may also be held responsible for the costs of emergency services/law enforcement that respond to a call, attorney fees and other costs associated. 

So what can you do?

As responsible parents you need to be a positive role model and prevent youth access to alcohol in your home. Your kids need to know where you stand on underage drinking through ongoing conversations about consequences. Give them the tools they need to make good decisions about drinking in the many different scenarios they may encounter—at a friend’s house, at a party, after school.

View the Good Samaritan Law