Underage Drinking

Illinois

The policy topics, below, address statues and regulations related to underage drinking and access to alcohol.

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian

Consumption is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • private residence
  • AND parent/guardian

Internal possession is not explicitly prohibited.

Purchase is prohibited, but youth MAY PURCHASE for law enforcement purposes.

  • Beer: 18 for both servers and bartenders
  • Wine: 18 for both servers and bartenders
  • Spirits: 18 for both servers and bartenders

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • Penalty may include driver's license suspension through an administrative procedure

Provision(s) targeting suppliers:

  • It is a criminal offense to lend, transfer, or sell a false ID
  • It is a criminal offense to manufacture or distribute a false ID

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid

BAC limit: 0.00 - any detectable alcohol in the blood is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.
Applies to drivers under age 21.

Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:

  • Underage purchase
  • Underage possession
  • Underage consumption

Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21

Authority to impose driver's license sanction

  • mandatory

Length of suspension/revocation: 180 days

Illinois has two Social Host laws:

  1. Social host law is not specifically limited to underage drinking parties.
    1. Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Consumption
    2. Property type(s) covered by liability law:
      1. Residence
      2. Outdoor
      3. Other
    3. Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: KNOWLEDGE - host must have actual knowledge of the occurrence
    4. Exception(s):
      1. Family
  2. Social host law is not specifically limited to underage drinking parties.
    1. Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Possession Consumption
    2. Property type(s) covered by liability law:
      1. Residence
    3. Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: KNOWLEDGE - host must have actual knowledge of the occurrence
    4. Preventive action by the host negates the violation (see note).
    5. Exception(s):
      1. Family
      2. Resident
  3. Social host law is not specifically limited to underage drinking parties.
    1. Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Consumption
    2. Property type(s) covered by liability law:
      1. Other
    3. Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: OVERT ACT - host must have actual knowledge and commit an act that contributes to the occurrence

Notes:
Beginning January 1, 2013, under 235 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-16(a-1), a person commits a social host offense if one is a parent or guardian and permits one's residence, or any other property under one’s control, to be used by an underage invitee of one's child or ward in a manner that violates the statute. An offense is deemed to have occurred if a parent or guardian knowingly authorizes or permits the prohibited use to occur.

Beginning January 1, 2013, an individual will not be in violation of 235 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-16(c) if he or she requests assistance from a law enforcement agency to help end the possession or consumption of alcohol by persons under the age of 21 in a residence that he or she occupies. This assistance must be requested before any other person makes a formal complaint to a law enforcement agency about the activity.

Under 235 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-16(d), a person commits a social host offense by renting a hotel or motel room for the purpose of or with the knowledge that such room shall be used for the consumption of alcoholic liquor by underage persons.