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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Underage Drinking: New Alcohol Legislation in Illinois

Posted on in DUI

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, supplying to a minor, alcohol legislation,Underage drinking has always - and may always be - a problem. Some parents advocate for “controlled environment” drinking, where they may allow their minor children and friends to drink alcohol so long as the parents are home and no one drives. While there are arguments to be made that this policy may decrease alcohol abuse later in life, Illinois has made it clear that these practices are against the law. A new law that went into effect January 1, 2015 will punish parents for providing alcohol to minors on their property, even on their boats, trailers, or other personal property. This law seeks to curb the epidemic of drinking and driving offenses on our roads and limit the amount of juvenile offenders susceptible to criminal involvement.

Supplying to a Minor in Illinois

The first wave of this parent-minor oriented legislation came back in 2013 when Illinois first specified that it is a crime to provide alcohol to minors at the parents’ home. This includes mere knowledge that minors are drinking in their household, whether they supplied it to the minors or not. According to the law, a violation of this sort may result in a Class A misdemeanor, the highest and most severe classification of misdemeanors.

The law, as written, extended the parents’ property to include hotel or motel rooms rented “for the purpose of or with the knowledge that such room shall be used for the consumption of alcoholic liquor by persons under the age of 21 years . . . .” The 2015 legislation now specifically extends the locations covered by the law to “vehicles, trailers, campers or boats” under the parents’ ownership or control. If a parent or guardian is caught permitting minors to drink under such conditions, the responsible parties may be fined up to $2,000 or could even be charged with a felony if death occurs due to a minor’s involvement in the unlawful underage drinking.

Juvenile Crimes Criminal Defense Attorney

Though the new law aims to deter adults from turning a blind eye to underage drinking, juveniles will still be held accountable for their involvement. If you or your child has been affected by a crime involving underage drinking, drinking and driving, or complications from refusing a breathalyzer test in the field, you have legal rights that can be exercised on your behalf. Our experienced DuPage County juvenile crimes defense attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. understand how frightening it can be to face criminal penalties as a minor. We recognize and respect that you are young, that everyone makes mistakes, and that you do not, and should not, have one misstep in your life define you for the rest of your life. We will advocate for sentencing leniency, and try to get your charges dismissed entirely if you are eligible for certain programs in Illinois that reward good behavior following your first criminal offense. Regardless of your unique situation, contact our talented attorneys in the greater Chicago area at 630-472-9700.

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