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New Law Provides Stiff Penalties for Parents Who Allow Underage Drinking

Posted on in Felony

According to a recent WGEM.com article, a new law has taken effect in the state of Illinois as of January 1, 2013, which will provide severe penalties for parents who allow their underage children to consume alcohol at their homes or other properties under their control. This new law makes it a criminal offense for parents to allow minors, or anyone under the age of twenty-one, to drink at any property they own, including their homes, cabins, boats, lakes, or campgrounds. Supporters of the law say that it will put added pressure on parents to ensure that their children and their friends are not using their property for the purposes of consuming alcohol. For those parents who have knowingly allowed their underage children and their friends to use their property for the purposes of alcohol consumption under their supervision in the past, the new law may be a deterrent to permitting such activities in the future.

Any parent who is found guilty of allowing a minor to consume alcohol on his or her property will be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor under Illinois law, which carries a minimum $500 fine. Furthermore, if the incident results in great bodily harm or death to any person, then the offense becomes a Class 4 felony under Illinois law, which is punishable by jail time.

In some cases, it may be difficult to prove whether an adult knew that underage drinking was occurring on his or her property. A lack of knowledge, then, might serve as a potential defense in charges brought under this new law.

As always, if you are facing criminal charges, you will need the assistance of an experienced Chicago area criminal defense attorney to evaluate your situation and give you advice about how best to proceed. Contact our office today and see how we can help you defend against any criminal charges that you might be facing.

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