SPRINGFIELD — Starting in 2013 the state is cracking down on parents or guardians who allow underage drinking on property they own. The new ‘social host law’ takes effect on Tuesday.
Sponsored by State Representative Carol Sente and State Senator Susan Garrett, the new legislation closes a loophole of legal accountability on those who knowingly allow alcohol consumption by minors.
“By protecting our youth, we protect our future,” says Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who signed Public Act 97-1049 into law on Aug. 22, 2012. “Adults know it is unacceptable to allow underage drinking in their home. By putting a social host law on the books, we are sending a strong message to all adults that they will be held responsible when allowing this harmful activity.”
Violators of the social host law will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than $500 when they knowingly authorize or permit underage drinking in their home. If this activity results in great bodily harm or death to any person, the individual is subject to a Class 4 felony.
However, a person will not be in violation if he or she has taken all reasonable steps to prevent this activity from occurring. Also, no charges will be filed if assistance is requested from law enforcement after discovery of the illegal activity.For the complete article see the 01-01-2013 issue.
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